What makes a good reservoir?

What makes a good reservoir?


David Clancy, a Stats/Math/EnvSci major, and Tianyi Mu, an ECE/CompSci major, spent ten weeks studying the effects of weather, surroundings, and climate on the operational behavior of water reservoirs across the United States. They used a large dataset compiled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and they worked closely with Lauren Patterson from the Water Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Project mentorship was provided by Alireza Vahid, a postdoctoral candidate in Electrical Engineering.

Project Results

Using sophisticated statistical machinery, the team showed that greater forestation and less-dense development increases the influence of rain on a reservoir. They also proposed a novel way to identify and characterize extreme reservoir events.

David poster session
David explains the project at the Data+ poster session


Download the executive summary (PDF).

Disciplines Involved

  • Environmental Science
  • Statistics

Project Team

Undergraduates: Tianyi Mu and David Clancy

Faculty Lead: Martin Doyle

Client Lead: Lauren Patterson, Water Policy Program Policy Associate

Lead mentor: Alireza Vahid, post-doc, ECE

Graduate mentor: Hamza Ghadyali graduate student, Mathematics



Related People

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science