Reservoir Operations Pilots

Through the Reservoir Operations Pilot Initiative, Reclamation uses modeling and forecasting tools to identify ways to increase flexibility in reservoir operations to support optimal water management.

2021 Pilot Studies

In June 2021, Reclamation selected six new Reservoir Operations Pilot Studies to evaluate approaches and potential operating alternatives to increase flexibility in reservoir operations to address risks from changes in the timing and volume of snowpack and runoff, changing water demands, reservoir evaporation, and risks from water supply shortfalls due to drought or competing demands.

Project Descriptions

2015 Pilot Studies

In 2015, Reclamation selected five pilot studies to identify possible improvements to reservoir operations. The results from these pilots are posted on this webpage, as they become available. See links to Bulletins summarizing pilot results and to the full reports.


For more information regarding the Reservoir Operations Pilot program please contact Sean Kimbrel at or 720-576-1323.


Current Status

Call for new proposals distributed March 23, 2023. Proposals are due June 15, 2023.


June 2023

  • Proposals due June 15, 2023.

2021 Program Highlights

Lake Mendocino in California
Image (C) Joey Mertle

Economic Benefits of Alternative Reservoir Operations for Lake Mendocino
Fact Sheet | Report | Decision Support Tool

Last Updated: 3/24/23