Reservoir Shoreline Processes

Manitoba Hydro is responsible for the operation of existing hydroelectric projects and expanding their generation capacity. Baird has provided numerous technical services to Manitoba Hydro including development of custom GIS applications, wind-wave modeling on reservoirs, shoreline erosion modeling, and independent technical peer review.

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Manitoba Hydro
Manitoba, Canada
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Manitoba, Canada

Project Highlights

Baird has supported Manitoba Hydro in a variety of capacities over the last two decades to advance their operational mandate and development of new hydropower projects.

  • Wind-wave hindcasting on long and narrow manmade reservoirs
  • Development of a custom GIS application to generate time series wave data and wave energy statistics within reservoirs
  • Application of a process-based numerical model to simulate cohesive shore erosion
  • Quantification of hydropower dam impacts on shoreline recession and optimization of regulation procedures to minimize future impacts
  • Independent technical peer review of permitting documents to support regulatory review and secure construction permits

Project Challenges

  • Generate hourly wave data for existing and new/planned reservoirs.
  • Simulate the evolution of cohesive shorelines (consolidated glacial sediment) exposed to fluctuating lake levels and wave attack.
  • Quantify the impacts of hydropower dam operation on shoreline evolution relative to natural shoreline conditions for the pre-project condition.

Baird Solutions

  • A GIS-based wind-wave hindcasting application was developed for non-technical users.
  • A processed-based numerical model (COSMOS) was used to simulate wave processes across the nearshore zone and beach for hourly lake levels.
  • The COSMOS model was calibrated and verified under the pre-project condition and then used to simulate bluff retreat for the hypothetical project and lake level regime.