Reservoir management can be defined as the judicious use of various means available to maximize benefits or economic recovery from a reservoir. Although there are numerous reasons why reservoir management programs sometimes do not succeed, perhaps the most important reason is the lack of team effort in developing and implementing such programs. A step-by-step procedure to improve success in this effort is outlined.

Two distinct approaches have been utilized: one is a comprehensive approach for large reservoirs and the other is a problem solving approach for small (and/or less profitable) reservoirs. Although the approaches are philosophically quite different, each has produced useful results. It is not necessary for all reservoirs to have the most comprehensive management program; rather, it should be dictated based upon need, keeping the cost-benefit analysis in mind.

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