Integrating Reservoir Operations and Flood Modeling with HEC-RAS 2D
Garcia, Matthew; Juan, Andrew; Bedient, Philip
Current free to use models developed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) perform unique functions (e.g., hydrology, hydraulics, reservoir operations, and flood impact analysis) that are widely used in numerous studies and applications. These models are commonly set up in a framework that is limited to point source connections, which is problematic in regions with flat topography and complex hydrodynamics. The separate models need to be integrally linked and jointly considered for accurate risk communication and decision-making, especially during major storm events. Recently, Hurricane Harvey (2017) exposed the shortcomings of the existing framework in West Harris County, TX, where an insufficient understanding of potential flood risk and impacts contributed to the extensive flood damages sustained in the region. This work illustrates the possibility of using a single hydraulic model, HEC-RAS 2D, to perform all hydrologic, hydraulic, and reservoir operations modeling necessary for accurate flood impact assessments. Implications of this study include a simplification of the entire flood impact analysis, which could help future flood risk communication and emergency planning.
flood warning; reservoir modeling; urban flood modeling; urban reservoir operations