Virgin River multi-objective optimization: maximizing endangered fish habitat and minimizing costs
International Journal of River Basin Management
This paper discusses a comparative analysis of hypothetical operational scenarios by the use of dynamic temperature and fish habitat modelling in a multi-objective framework in the Virgin River Basin, Utah. Results were compared on the basis of quantified fish habitat, operational costs, and hydropower revenue. The modelling framework, the Virgin River Operation Optimization Model, is considered as a basin-level planning model. The optimization objectives were to minimize net river system operational cost of the Washington County Water Conservation District and maximize endangered fish habitat. Considerations included infrastructure alternatives to increase flow and cold water discharges as well as demand reductions. Given the nature of the problem, an optimization procedure was developed to approximate a Pareto front or trade-off surface for the two management objectives. This trade-off surface approximation is desired to help users compare the merits of any particular solution. The relative differences between alternatives elucidated sensitivities to the system responses along the approximated Pareto front. Limitations to the methods are discussed and recommendations for future work are provided.
Basdekas, L., L. A. Bastidas, T. B. Hardy, A. J. Caplan, and M. McKee. 2014. Virgin River multi-objective optimization: maximizing endangered fish habitat and minimizing costs. International Journal of River Basin Management, DOI 10.1080/15715124.2013.879592.