Storage and Regulation of River Flows by Dams and Reservoirs


reservoir/river systems
hydrologic variability

How to Cite

Wurbs, Ph.D., R. A. (2021). Storage and Regulation of River Flows by Dams and Reservoirs. Texas Water Journal, 12(1), 10–39.


Water management in Texas is driven by dramatic spatial and temporal hydrologic variability, continual rapid population growth, declining groundwater supplies, and intensifying demands on surface water resources. Dams and reservoirs are essential for providing reliable water supplies and reducing flood risks. Numerous reservoir projects, most constructed during the 1940s through 1980s era of large scale water project construction nationwide, are operated throughout the state to store and regulate extremely variable river flows for beneficial purposes. This paper explores river system hydrology in Texas, operation of dams and reservoirs statewide to deal with extreme flow fluctuations, and associated complexities, issues, and water management strategies. The central focus of the paper is the role of large reservoirs in managing hydrologic variability and associated future uncertainty in an environment of growing demands on limited resources.

Received 18 October 2019, Accepted 5 January 2021, Published online 22 February 2021

Citation: Wurbs RA. 2021. Storage and regulation of river flows by dams and reservoirs. Texas Water Journal. 12(1):10-29. Available from:
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 Ralph A. Wurbs, Ph.D.