Evaluating the Impacts of a Large-Scale Multi-Reservoir System on Flooding: Case of the Huai River in China

Xinyu Wan, Lijuan Hua, Shutan Yang, Hoshin V. Gupta, Ping’an Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The extensive constructions of reservoirs change the hydrologic characteristics of the associated watersheds, which increases the complexity of watershed flood control decisions. By evaluating the impacts of the multi-reservoir system on the flood hydrograph, it becomes possible to improve the effectiveness of the flood control decisions. This study compares the non-reservoir flood hydrograph with the actual observed flood hydrograph using the Lutaizi upstream of Huai River in East China as a representative case, where 20 large-scale/large-sized reservoirs have been built. Based on the total impact of the multi-reservoir system, a novel strategy is presented to evaluate the contribution of each reservoir to the total impact. According their contributions, the “highly effective” reservoirs for watershed flood control are identified via hierarchical clustering. Moreover, the degree of impact of the reservoir operation rules on the flood hydrograph are estimated. We find the multi-reservoir system of Huai River has a significant impact on flooding at the Lutaizi section, on average reducing the flood volume and peak discharge by 13.92 × 108 m3 and 18.7% respectively. Under the current operation rules, the volume and peak discharge of flooding at the Lutaizi section are reduced by 13.69 × 108 m3 and 1429 m3/s respectively. Each reservoir has a different impact on the flood hydrograph at the Lutaizi section. In particular, the Meishan, Xianghongdian, Suyahu, Nanwan, Nianyushan and Foziling reservoirs exert a strong influence on the flood hydrograph, and are therefore important for flood control on the Huai River.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1033
Number of pages21
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Clustering
  • Flood hydrograph
  • Huai River
  • Operation rules
  • Reservoir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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