Download the full-sized PDF of Reservoir Management for Sustainable Irrigation in AlbertaDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Reservoir Management for Sustainable Irrigation in Alberta Open Access


Other title
Gestion des réservoirs pour le développement durable de l’irrigation en Alberta
Reservoir release-decisions
Reservoir operations
Water Resources Management Model
Qualitative interviewing
Water manager’s perspective
Optimization models
Simulation models
Stakeholder interviews
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Jean, Marie-Ève
Supervisor and department
Davies, Evan (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water Resources Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Kim, Amy (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Transportation Engineering)
Steffler, Peter (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water Resources Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Water Resources Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Sustainable reservoir management is essential to ensure the productivity of agriculture and to adapt to a changing climate. This research firstly analyzes reservoir managers’ perspectives in Alberta’s heavily-allocated South Saskatchewan River Basin by applying a qualitative survey methodology in order to improve understanding of the behaviour of reservoir operators under various climatic and hydrological conditions. The data collected through interviews with water managers suggest that the current approach to reservoir operation in Alberta is oriented toward basin-scale cooperation, day-by-day release strategies, and early-season water rationing. Furthermore, the research evaluates the possible impact on the water supply available in the Bow River Basin of alternative reservoir management strategies applied in the Bow River Irrigation District through the use of the Water Resources Management Model (WRMM) of the Government of Alberta. In particular, modified reservoir operations may permit the district to lower its total water deficit in dry years compared to the original version of the WRMM. However, the values of risk measures for water deficits, the water available for other irrigation districts, the Master Apportionment Agreement with Saskatchewan and the diversion rate from the Bow River are only marginally affected. Finally, bounding scenarios of low and high irrigation demands for the three irrigation districts of the Bow River Basin (the WID, BRID and EID) and the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District (LNID) of the Oldman River Basin were produced using the Government of Alberta’s Irrigation Demand Model for a planning horizon extending to the year 2040. The water-use scenarios were applied to the WRMM to permit quantification of the water supply limits under dry to wet conditions from the historical period-of-record. There are no foreseen risks associated with the reference water-use and the low water-use scenarios for any of the four irrigation districts. However, the high water-use scenario is not sustainable for both the LNID and the WID in terms of risk measures based on water deficits and adherence to the Master Apportionment Agreement.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Jean, M-È., and Davies, E.G.R. (2015). Water managers’ perspectives on reservoir operations for sustainable irrigation in Alberta. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Volume 197, available from
Doi: 10.2495/RM150151

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (PDF/A)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 7788008
Last modified: 2016:06:24 17:04:59-06:00
Filename: Jean_Marie-Ève_201508_MSc.pdf
Original checksum: c5bb43575ea1e6d80370ef484cb0294b
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date