Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 1725–1739 | Cite as

Long-Term Planning of Water Systems in the Context of Climate Non-Stationarity with Deterministic and Stochastic Optimization



Seasonal inflow variability, climate non-stationarity and climate change are matters of concern for water system planning and management. This study presents optimization methods for long-term planning of water systems in the context of a non-stationary climate with two levels of inflow variability: seasonal and inter-annual. Deterministic and stochastic optimization models with either one time-step (intra-annual) or two time-steps (intra-annual and inter-annual) were compared by using three water system optimization models. The first model used one time-step sampling stochastic dynamic programming (SSDP). The other models with two time-steps are long-term deterministic dynamic programming (LT-DDP) and long-term sampling stochastic dynamic programming (LT-SSDP). The study area is the Manicouagan water system located in Quebec, Canada. The results show that there will be an increase of inflow to hydropower plants in the future climate with an increase of inflow uncertainty. The stochastic optimization with two time-steps was the most suitable for handling climate non-stationarity. The LT-DDP performed better in terms of reservoir storage, release and system efficiency but with high uncertainty. The SSDP had the lowest performance. The SSDP was not able to deal with the non-stationary climate and seasonal variability at the same time. The LT-SSDP generated operating policies with smaller uncertainty compared to LT-DDP, and it was therefore a more appropriate approach for water system planning and management in a non-stationary climate characterized by high inflow variability.


Non-stationary climate Hydropower Deterministic Stochastic Optimization 



The climate model data was provided by the Earth System Grid. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Collaborative Research and Development program, OURANOS and Hydro-Québec funded this project.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de SherbrookeQCCanada

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