Developing a real time hydraulic model and a decision support tool for the operation of the Orange River.
This thesis describes the development of a decision support tool to be used in the operation of Vanderkloof Dam on the Orange River so that the supply of water to the lower Orange River can be optimised. The decision support tool is based on a hydrodynamic model that was customised to incorporate real time data recorded at several points on the river. By incorporating these data into the model the simulated flows are corrected to the actual flow conditions recorded on the river, thereby generating a best estimate of flow conditions at any given time. This information is then used as the initial conditions for forecast simulations to assess whether the discharge volumes and schedules from the dam satisfy the water demands of downstream users, some of which are 1400km or up to 8 weeks away. The various components of the decision support system, their functionality and their interaction are described. The details regarding the development of these components include: • The hydraulic model of the Orange River downstream of Vanderkloof Dam. The population and calibration of the model are described. • The modification of the code of the hydrodynamic engine so that real time recorded stage and flow data can be incorporated into the model • The development of a graphical user interface to facilitate the exchange of data between the real time network of flow gauging stations on the Orange River and the hydraulic model • The investigation into the effect of including the real time data on the simulated flows • Testing the effectiveness of the decision support system.
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