Surface Water Hydrology

Poster Abstract

A Cost-benefit Framework for the Inter-basin Water Transfer Projects

Wednesday, January 4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: ChuLv Hall

Inter-basin water transfer projects are increasingly constructed to relieve regional water stresses. The expensive capital cost of such massive projects calls for satisfying the desired requirements with minimum investment, i.e., achieving a high rate of return on investment. This paper develops a new theoretical cost-benefit analysis framework considering the tradeoffs between investment cost and expected water shortage loss to determine the optimal water transfer capacity for the inter-basin water transfer projects. Theoretical and hydro-economic analysis indicates that the optimal capacity is determined considering the compensation effects of the capacity of existing reservoirs and reservoir inflow variability. The ratio between the slopes of the investment cost and water shortage loss functions, which is obtained analytically with the optimality condition, is approved to equal the water shortage probability (i.e., 1-reliability) when cost and loss functions are linear and equal the ratio between the amounts of expected water shortage and transfer water when the cost and loss functions are quadratic. Application to the Biliuhe water transfer project, northeast China, demonstrates the equivalence between the proposed approach and reliability based simulation approach, as well as the advantage of the proposed approach in simplicity, accuracy and computational efficiency. Furthermore, effects of model parameters, demand uncertainty, inflow variability and probability distribution type on the optimal design of the inter-basin transfer project are discussed. This paper demonstrates the proposed approach provides a theoretical basis for explicitly addressing the uncertainties in the design process of inter-basin water transfer projects.

Wei Ding

Dalian University of Technology


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A Cost-benefit Framework for the Inter-basin Water Transfer Projects

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