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Integrated modelling of cost-effective siting and operation of flow-control infrastructure for river ecosystem conservation

Higgins, A. J., Bryan, B. A., Overton, I. C., Holland, K., Lester, R. E., King, D., Nolan, M. and Connor, J. D. 2011, Integrated modelling of cost-effective siting and operation of flow-control infrastructure for river ecosystem conservation, Water resources research, vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 1-14.

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Title Integrated modelling of cost-effective siting and operation of flow-control infrastructure for river ecosystem conservation
Author(s) Higgins, A. J.
Bryan, B. A.
Overton, I. C.
Holland, K.
Lester, R. E.ORCID iD for Lester, R. E. orcid.org/0000-0003-2682-6495
King, D.
Nolan, M.
Connor, J. D.
Journal name Water resources research
Volume number 47
Issue number 5
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Place of publication Washington, D. C.
Publication date 2011-05-17
ISSN 0043-1397
1944-7973
Keyword(s) complex task
decision variables
ecological functions
ecological health
environmental flow
environmental flow regime
environmental values
flood duration
flood plains
integrated modelling
key component
meta heuristics
natural flow regime
non-linear integer programming
non-linearity
nonlinear problems
operation strategy
optimal investments
planning horizons
regulated river
river ecosystem
spatial and temporal heterogeneity
Summary Wetland and floodplain ecosystems along many regulated rivers are highly stressed, primarily due to a lack of environmental flows of appropriate magnitude, frequency, duration, and timing to support ecological functions. In the absence of increased environmental flows, the ecological health of river ecosystems can be enhanced by the operation of existing and new flow-control infrastructure (weirs and regulators) to return more natural environmental flow regimes to specific areas. However, determining the optimal investment and operation strategies over time is a complex task due to several factors including the multiple environmental values attached to wetlands, spatial and temporal heterogeneity and dependencies, nonlinearity, and time-dependent decisions. This makes for a very large number of decision variables over a long planning horizon. The focus of this paper is the development of a nonlinear integer programming model that accommodates these complexities. The mathematical objective aims to return the natural flow regime of key components of river ecosystems in terms of flood timing, flood duration, and interflood period. We applied a 2-stage recursive heuristic using tabu search to solve the model and tested it on the entire South Australian River Murray floodplain. We conclude that modern meta-heuristics can be used to solve the very complex nonlinear problems with spatial and temporal dependencies typical of environmental flow allocation in regulated river ecosystems. The model has been used to inform the investment in, and operation of, flow-control infrastructure in the South Australian River Murray.
Language eng
Field of Research 010303 Optimisation
Socio Economic Objective 960913 Water Allocation and Quantification
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, American Geophysical Union
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30044228

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.