Water storage reservoirs may be created by constructing a dam across a river, along with suitable appurtenant structures. However, in that lesson not much was discussed about fixing the size of reservoir based on the demand for which it is being constructed. Further, reservoirs are also meant to absorb a part of flood water and the excess is discharged through a spillway. It is also essential to study the relation between flood discharge, reservoirs capacity and spillway size in order to propose an economic solution to the whole project. These and topics on reservoir sedimentation have been discussed in this lesson which shall give an idea as to how a reservoir should be built and optimally operated. Fundamentally, a reservoir serves to store water and the size of the reservoir is governed by the volume of the water that must be stored, which in turn is affected by the variability of the inflow available for the reservoir.
Reservoirs are of two main categories:
Impounding reservoirs into which a river flows naturally, and
Service or balancing reservoirs receiving supplies that are pumped or channeled into them artificially. In general, service or balancing reservoirs are required to balance supply with demand. Reservoirs of the second type are relatively small in volume because the storage required by them is to balance flows for a few hours or a few days at the most. Impounding or storage reservoirs are intended to accumulate a part of the flood flow of the river for use during the non-flood months. In this lesson, our discussions would be centered on these types of reservoirs.