This paper employs the multi-objective analysis to evaluate the benefits and feasibility of a local water transfer project between two water supply reservoirs in China. Firstly, the multi-objective simulation optimization model of reservoir operation for three scenarios, including no connection, virtual connection, and pipeline connection, are set up considering the compensation role of hydrology and the storage capacity of relevant reservoirs. Secondly, the Pareto-optimal solutions and the selected operation solutions for the three scenarios are analyzed to evaluate the benefits of the transfer project. And visual analytics is used to show and analyze the relation of the three scenarios’ Pareto-optimal solutions intuitively. Lastly, the results show building a pipeline can attain more benefits in reducing the amount of diverted water and water spills for the water supply system, but with some issues such as additional engineering cost and low utilization rate of the diversion pipeline. This study demonstrates that conducting a holistic multi-objective analysis for water transfer options can reveal the full trade-offs between competing objectives, show the relation of different scenarios’ Pareto-optimal solutions and provide support for informed decision-making on water diversion project planning.

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