Multi-purpose Reservoir Operation Analysis in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia

  • Dereje M. Ayenew
  • Mamaru A. MogesEmail author
  • Fasikaw A. Zimale
  • Asegdew G. Mulat
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 308)


This study focused on developing rule curves for multi-purpose cascade reservoirs operation to optimize the available water for hydropower production, irrigation development, water supply, and environmental flow in Blue Nile Basin using HEC-ResSim reservoir simulation model. The model tried to represent the physical behavior of cascade reservoirs in the basin with its high speed hydraulic computations for flows through control structures, and hydrologic routing to represent the lag and attenuation of flows through the main and tributaries of the river based on the current projects operation, and future likely development projects implementation period. Therefore, the management of multi-purpose cascade reservoirs is complex due to conflicting interests between these objectives. Thus, the optimal operation of cascade reservoirs is important to address trade-offs between multiple objectives to achieve the water management goals. From the simulation of cascade reservoirs operation, Hydropower power guide curve operation rule was selected to optimize the basin’s available water.


Cascade HEC-ResSim Optimize Simulation Blue Nile Basin 



The authors would like to thanks the Blue Nile Water Institute for the financial Aid to accomplish this study. We would like to thanks the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity for providing the stream flow data and the National Meteorology Agency for meteorological data. We also would like to thanks also the Ethiopian Electricity Corporation (EEPC) for providing us the hydropower and hydropower related data.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Oliveira, R., Loucks, D.P.: Operating rules for multi reservoir systems. Water Resour. Res. 33(4), 839–852 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jothiprakash, V., Ganesan, S.: Single reservoir operating policies using genetic. Water Resour. Res. 20, 917–929 (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hydrologic engineering center: HEC-ResSim, Reservoir System Simulation, User’s Manual Version 3.1. U.S. Army corps of Engineers (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    BCEOM: Abbay River Basin Integrated Development Master Plan Project, Phase 2 Section II, Vol. III: Part 1 – Climatology and Part 2–Hydrology, Ethiopia (1999)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    SMEC: Hydrological Study of The Tana – Beles Sub-basins, main report, Ministry of Water Addis Ababa Ethiopia (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pietrangeli, S.: Tana-Beles Project part 2. hydrological report, Addis Ababa (1990)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    USBR: Land and Water Resources of the Blue Nile Basin Main Report, United States Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, DC (1964)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lahmeyer Consulting Engineers: Gilgel Abbay Scheme, Imperial Ethiopian Government, Ministry of Public Works, Addis Ahaba, Ethiopia (1962)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Awulachew, S.B., Yilma, A.D., Loulseged, M., Loiskandl, W., Ayana, M., Alamirew, T.: Water resources and irrigation development in Ethiopia Colombo, Sri Lanka. International Water Management Institute. Working Paper 123 (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    World Bank: Managing Water Resources to Maximize Sustainable Growth: A Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy for Ethiopia. World Bank, Washington DC (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Waterbury, J.: The Nile Basin: National Determinants of Collective Action. Yale University Press, New Haven (2002)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yilma, D.A., Awulachew, S.B.: Characteristics and atlas of the Blue Nile Basin and its sub basins, the improved water and land management in the Ethiopian highlands: its impact on downstream stakeholders dependent on the Blue Nile. In: Awulachew, S.B., Erkosa, T., Smakhtin, V., Ashra, F. (eds.) Intermediate Results Dissemination Workshop Held at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), 5–6 February, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Steenhuis, T.S., et al.: Predicting discharge and erosion for the Abay (Blue Nile) with a simple model. Hydrol. Process. 23, 3728–3737 (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tilahun, S., et al.: An efficient semi-distributed hillslope erosion model for the sub humid Ethiopian Highlands. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 17, 1051–1063 (2013).
  15. 15.
    Tilahun, S., et al.: Distributed discharge and sediment concentration predictions in the sub-humid Ethiopian highlands: the Debre Mawi watershed. Hydrol. Process. 29, 1817–1828 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fasikaw, A.Z., et al.: Budgeting suspended sediment fluxes in tropical monsoonal watersheds with. J. Hydrol. Hydromech. 66(1), 65–78 (2017)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ries and Friesz: Development of regression equations to estimate flow durations and low-flow frequency statistics in New Hampshire streams U.S. Geological survey (2000)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nash, J.E., Sutcliffe, J.V.: River flow forecasting through conceptual models part I-a discussion of principles. J. Hydrol. 10(3), 282–290 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mulat, A.G., Moges, S.A., Moges, M.A.: Evaluation of multi-storage hydropower development in the upper Blue Nile River (Ethiopia). J. Hydrol. Reg. Stud. 16, 1–14 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Goor, Q., Halleux, C., Mohamed, Y., Tilmant, A.: Optimal operation of a multipurpose multi-reservoir system in the Eastern Nile River Basin. Hydrology Earth System Sciences 14(10), 1895–1908 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dereje M. Ayenew
    • 1
  • Mamaru A. Moges
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Fasikaw A. Zimale
    • 3
  • Asegdew G. Mulat
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Water, Irrigation and Energy Development BureauBahir DarEthiopia
  2. 2.Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia
  3. 3.Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia

Personalised recommendations