UC Davis
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Director of Center for Watershed Sciences

Secure water provision to sustain aquatic ecosystems and economic activity in regulated rivers requires optimized reservoir operations. This is particularly relevant in California where water extraction, conveyance, and storage decisions have large ecosystem and economic consequences.

To improve management of water flow through infrastructure and the natural environment, this seed grant research will produce information to support institutions making environmental rights and reservoir operating decisions.

We will further develop a method for managing the timing and duration of reservoir releases that maximizes
fish survival and could be applied in many situations.

We have already developed the basic tenants of this method and illustrated its use for optimizing releases to the Lower American River from Folsom Dam to maximize survival of fall-run Chinook salmon. This basic method can simulate operating rules that save more fish and water than normal operating policy. Advancement of the fish hedging method to include temperature and snowmelt constraints will make it possible for us to simulate re-operation of complex and larger systems such as Northern California’s multi-reservoir system (via re-operation of Shasta, Trinity, Oroville and Folsom Dams).

UC Water Connection: 

Dr. Lund  received a 2016 UC Water seed grant for work with Stephanie Carlson and Marc Beutel on "Hedging for Flow and Temperature Operation of Reservoirs for Fish during Drought."


Jay Lund has research and teaching interests in the application of systems analysis, economic, and management methods to infrastructure and public works problems. His recent work is primarily in water resources and environmental system engineering, but with substantial work in solid and hazardous waste management, dredging and coastal zone management, and some dabbling in urban, regional, and transportation planning. While most of this work involves the application of economics, optimization, and simulation modeling, his interests also include more qualitative policy, planning, and management studies.