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Identifying Hydrometeorological Factors Influencing Reservoir Releases Using Machine Learning Methods

by Ming Fan, Lujun Zhang, Siyan Liu, Tiantian Yang, Dan Lu
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
2022 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops (ICDMW)
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1102 to 1110
Publisher Location
New Jersey, United States of America
Conference Name
IEEE International Conference on Data Mining: DMESS Workshop
Conference Location
Orlando, Florida, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Multiple organizations
Conference Date

Simulation of reservoir releases plays a critical role in social-economic functioning and our nation's security. How-ever, it is challenging to predict the reservoir release accurately because of many influential factors from natural environments and engineering controls such as the reservoir inflow and storage. Moreover, climate change and hydrological intensification causing the extreme precipitation and temperature make the accurate prediction of reservoir releases even more challenging. Machine learning (ML) methods have shown some successful applications in simulating reservoir releases. However, previous studies mainly used inflow and storage data as inputs and only considered their short-term influences (e.g, previous one or two days). In this work, we use long short-term memory (LSTM) networks for reservoir release prediction based on four input variables including inflow, storage, precipitation, and temperature and consider their long-term influences. We apply the LSTM model to 30 reservoirs in Upper Colorado River Basin, United States. We analyze the prediction performance using six statistical metrics. More importantly, we investigate the influence of the input hydrometeorological factors, as well as their temporal effects on reservoir release decisions. Results indicate that inflow and storage are the most influential factors but the inclusion of precipitation and temperature can further improve the prediction of release especially in low flows. Additionally, the inflow and storage have a relatively long-term effect on the release. These findings can help optimize the water resources management in the reservoirs.