Keywords: Roseires – Sennar Dam, Reservoir Operation, Optimal Coordination, Multi-purpose Reservoir, Long-term Planning


The Roseires-Sennar Dams System (RSDS) at lower part of Blue Nile River play a vital role in water supply to the irrigation schemes in Sudan. The existing rule curves for this system belong to 1925 and 1966 for Sennar and Roseires reservoirs, respectively. Introduction of new irrigation schemes, approved climate change impacts on Blue Nile River flow and upstream developments in Ethiopia as well as the heightening of the Roseires Dam from elevation 480 to 490 m.a.s.l have shown the RSDS is losing its efficiency in terms of fully supplying the water demands. The literature addresses the simulation of Roseires and Sennar dams, and tries to find the best coordinated rule curves through a limited number of operation rules to find optimal operating rules for reservoirs that minimize the impacts of new developments, water demand growth and climate change on water supply to various demands on Blue Nile River. Such decisions are locally optimal in best condition since they do not consider the storage and carry-over capability of reservoirs that can transfer the non-optimal (locally optimal) decisions to other time steps of planning horizon and creat shortages in other time steps. Therefore, aim of this research is to find optimal coordinating operation rules for Roseires and Sennar dams that through a non-linear multi-period optimization model that considers the conditions of climate change, flow regime and water demand as scenarios. Model is validated by comparison with observed reservoir operation during November 1999 till May 2000. Eighteen scenarios that cover the normal, dry and very dry flow regimes, along with three suggested crop patterns and climate change impact are analyzed. Results shows in normal conditions of flow, crop pattern 2 is the most recommended with more than 11 Billion USD marginal profit and fully supplying the water demand and 1530 GWh energy generation per annum. The coordinated rule curves have a totally different pattern of emptying and filling compared with existing ones. Rule curves change from one flow regime to another, which proves how change in conditions of the system has influence on optimal operation rules. Comparison of marginal profits with crop pattern 2 shows in three inflow conditions of normal, dry and very dry years multi-period optimization model could keep the marginal profits above 11 Billion USD, let’s say, 11,050, 11,056 and 11,042 Billion USD, respectively, which shows the robustness of model in dealing with all conditions and keeping the marginal profits not affected. However, the Roseires rule curves are different in these three condition, while Sennar rules curves are almost the same. Without climate change impact, model can manage to supply the water demands fully in all flow conditions. However, water supply reliability is affected by climate change with all crop patterns. Roseires-Sennar Dams system in a normal year under climate change can produce 10,688 Billion USD marginal profit and 1371 GWh per year energy. It shows that model could manage the system performance so that climate change decrease the marginal profit by 3.27%, while inflow is reduced by 25% and water demands and evaporation increased by 19%. Energy generation under climate change has decreased by 10.5%, which is the most affected sector. Crop pattern 2 and 3 are not suitable for climate change conditions since up to 65% deficit in water supply can happen if very dry year realizing with climate change. In very dry conditions crop pattern 1 is more suitable to be practiced.

Author Biographies

T. Z. Saad Omer, Omdurman Islamic University, Khartoum, Sudan

MSc student, UNESCO Chair in Water Resources

S. E. Ahmed, , Omdurman Islamic University, Khartoum, Sudan


A. Karimi, College of Engineering, National University of Science and Technology, Muscat, Oman

Assist. Prof.


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How to Cite
Saad Omer, T., Ahmed, S., & Karimi, A. (2021). OPTIMAL OPERATION OF MULTIPURPOSE RESERVOIRS IN SERIES: ROSEIRES AND SENNAR CASE STUDY. Land Reclamation and Water Management, (2), 5 - 23. https://doi.org/10.31073/mivg202102-310