A number of deterministic reservoir optimization models are capable of finding optimal basin allocation over multiple time steps simultaneously. This is commonly referred to as Multiple Time Step Optimization (MTO). However, such solutions are predicated on perfect foreknowledge of incoming runoff over the entire simulated period (typically one year), which is not available to reservoir operators in real time, thus creating a gap between the results of MTO-based modeling and their practical use. There is no universally accepted methodology on how the results of MTO should be used to develop practical and easy-to-understand operating rules. This paper offers a simple approach to bridge this gap and suggests additional avenues for further research in this direction.
Keywords: optimization, reservoir operating rules, simulation, storage hedging