Articles | Volume 16, issue 11
Research article
06 Nov 2012
Research article |  | 06 Nov 2012

Integrated hydrological modelling of small- and medium-sized water storages with application to the upper Fengman Reservoir Basin of China

C. Zhang, Y. Peng, J. Chu, C. A. Shoemaker, and A. Zhang

Abstract. Hydrological simulation in regions with a large number of water storages is difficult due to inaccurate water storage data. To address this issue, this paper presents an improved version of SWAT2005 (Soil and Water Assessment Tool, version 2005) using Landsat, a satellite-based dataset, an empirical storage classification method and some empirical relationships to estimate water storage and release from the various sizes of flow detention and regulation facilities. The SWAT2005 is enhanced by three features: (1) a realistic representation of the relationships between the surface area and volume of each type of water storages, ranging from small-sized flow detention ponds to medium- and large-sized reservoirs with the various flow regulation functions; (2) water balance and transport through a network combining both sequential and parallel streams and storage links; and (3) calibrations for both physical and human interference parameters. Through a real-world watershed case study, it is found that the improved SWAT2005 more accurately models small- and medium-sized storages than the original model in reproducing streamflows in the watershed. The improved SWAT2005 can be an effective tool to assess the impact of water storage on hydrologic processes, which has not been well addressed in the current modelling exercises.