Climate change affects patterns and uncertainties associated with river water regimes, which significantly impact hydropower generation and reservoir storage operation. Hence, reliable and accurate short-term inflow forecasting is vital to face climate effects better and improve hydropower scheduling performance. This paper proposes a Causal Variational Mode Decomposition (CVD) preprocessing framework for the inflow forecasting problem. CVD is a preprocessing feature selection framework that is built upon multiresolution analysis and causal inference. CVD can reduce computation time while increasing forecasting accuracy by down-selecting the most relevant features to the target value (inflow in a specific location). Moreover, the proposed CVD framework is a complementary step to any machine learning-based forecasting method as it is tested with four different forecasting algorithms in this paper. CVD is validated using actual data from a river system downstream of a hydropower reservoir in the southwest of Norway. The experimental results show that CVD-LSTM reduces forecasting error metric by almost 70% compared with a baseline (scenario 1) and reduces by 25% compared to an LSTM for the same composition of input data (scenario 4).
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