International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
"Rainwater Catchment for Future Generations"
Keelung, Taiwan, R.O.C. - August 1991
5: Cistern Management and Operation Guidelines
of Rain Water Catchment
University of New Mexico, USA
Rain water catchment has four engineering aspects: design, implementation,
construction and operation. Routine design matches capacity with demand. Improvements
in financial and educational infrastructure further the regional-scale implementation.
Material and technique development make construction more appropriate. The weak
link in the engineering process is that of operation, managing the catchment to
Dynamic programming, a tool long used in reservoir operational studies, reveals
how a catchment can be managed (when to draw,, when to conserve) to minimize the
penalties associated with water shortage. Penalties can be defined in arbitrary
terms, relatively or absolutely. Demands can be historic or synthetic, with or
without trend, seasonality or random fluctuation. Rainfall can be likewise actual
or synthetic. As a deductive tool, dynamic programming reveals the optimal mode
of catchment operation for any, scenario of supply and demand. As an inductive
agent, the analyst may reduce that knowledge to rules for real-time decision making.
A New Mexico catchment system is dynamically evaluated. A seven year rainfall
record is employed with logistic, exponential and unit price penalty schedules.
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