DHI launches new technology for real-time dam optimization

10 May 2007  

DHI has developed a new real-time dam optimization technology, which provides operators of dams and reservoirs with the unique opportunity to manage available water resources safely and efficiently. The new system is designed to optimize water resources systems in real-time, taking into account multiple - often conflicting - objectives, such as:

  • Flood mitigation
  • Optimization of hydropower production
  • Irrigation demands by water consumers
  • Environmentally sustainable water quality

In a robust and resilient setting, the new system integrates real-time data, an accurate water resources forecasting model and a dedicated computing solution. An efficient data assimilation technique is used to update the model state up to the time of the forecast using available real-time point observations. The updating technology ensures that the model state reflects accurately the physics that prevail at the time of the forecast and enhances the accuracy of the model prediction. The computing solution comprises a grid of computers capable of processing multiple simulations in parallel and identifying optimal future dam operation strategies. The optimization is based on a set of user-defined objectives, as exemplified above.

The new technology has been applied for real-time optimization of the Orange-Fish-Sundays River Basin in South Africa; the project objective being to meet downstream irrigation demands, avoid saline river flows and keep the current level of flood protection. Preliminary results indicate that millions of cubic meters of water can be saved annually while meeting the project objective. More details about the project can be found in the following pdf document: Real-time dam optimization in South Africa, 2006-2007