A hedging policy is characterized by three parameters, namely, starting water availability (SWA), ending water availability (EWA) and hedging factor (HF). The effects of these three parameters on the reservoir performance indicators have been evaluated and discussed for a southwest monsoon-dependent within-year reservoir system in southern India. For the performance evaluation, synthetically generated periodic inflow sequences from a periodic autoregressive model have been used. Quite a number of the 1800 hedging policies considered for the reservoir system, yield a better overall performance compared to the standard operating policy (SOP). Reliability, Resilience and vulnerability are found to increase with SWA for a specified EWA. On the other hand, all these performance indicators are found to decrease with EWA for a specified SWA. Hence, it is desirable to start the hedging at reasonably high SWA. All performance indicators remain practically constant at higher ranges of EWA for a given SWA. If hedging is started when there is enough water in storage, reliability, resilience and average deficit increase with degree of hedging, whereas vulnerability decreases significantly up to a hedging factor of 0.3. An interactive computer program has been developed for the selection of compromising hedging policies, and its usefulness has been discussed. © 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers.