Predicting urban reservoir levels using statistical learning techniques

Urban water supplies are critical to the growth of the city and the wellbeing of its citizens. However, these supplies can be vulnerable to hydrological extremes, such as droughts and floods, especially if they are the main source of water for the city. Maintaining these supplies and preparing for future conditions is a crucial task for water managers, but predicting hydrological extremes is a challenge. This study tested the abilities of eight statistical learning techniques to predict reservoir levels, given the current hydroclimatic conditions, and provide inferences on the key predictors of reservoir levels. The results showed that random forest, an ensemble, tree-based method, was the best algorithm for predicting reservoir levels.

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