Accounting for hydropower schemes' rules in the 1-D hydrodynamic modeling of the Rhône River from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean sea

Violaine Dugué, Carla Walter, Emilie Andries, Marina Launay, Jérôme Le Coz, Benoît Camenen, Jean-Baptiste Faure

Wednesday 1 july 2015

8:45 - 9:00h at Europe 1 & 2 (level 0)

Themes: (T) Water engineering, (ST) Computational methods

Parallel session: 8E. Engineering - Computational

The Rhône River, from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea (545 km) is regulated by twenty-one hydropower schemes. In most of hydropower schemes, the natural Rhône River is diverted through a bypass canal where the hydropower plant and a lock are located. A diversion dam is constructed in the old natural Rhône to manage floods and control the water discharge in the bypass canal. The hydropower scheme's operation rules include a minimum compensation discharge in the old natural Rhône and a maximum discharge in the bypass canal as allowed by the hydropower plant. Meanwhile, the maximum water level in the reservoir is imposed as a function of the inflow discharge at a so-called “Regulation Point” located upstream of the hydropower scheme. The objective of the present paper is to investigate the modeling of hydropower scheme's operation rules in the Rhône River. A 1D hydrodynamic model, based on the 1D shallow water equations, has been developed that includes the hydropower schemes' operation rules. It is used to simulate two major hydro-sedimentary events with high suspended sediment transport, with different operation rules applied (usual / exceptional). Hydraulic schemes parameters, such as physical characteristics of gates and different types of operation rules are discussed, as well as differences in results when automatic or temporal operation rules are used in the model. The final aim of this model is to improve the numerical simulation and the understanding of hydro-sedimentary and pollution processes in the Rhône River.