This paper introduces the conjunctive use of a deterministic water quality model and water balance criteria for supporting the assessment of simulation and to evaluate the effectiveness of proposed operation strategies. By this, the applicability of enhanced reservoir operation strategies addressing both water quality as well as water quantity aspects under water deficit conditions in dry years can be shown. Arguments will be developed to address stakeholders and decision makers in the context of a more conservative past operation regime. Results are presented for the Kaparas reservoir, which is located in the lower Amu Darya River, on the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As being one out of four large reservoirs of the Tuyamuyun Hydro Complex (THC), the Kaparas reservoir could be increasingly used for drinking water supply for the lower Amu Darya region. The results for the dry year 2001 indicates that the combination of simulation together with practical assessment criteria confirm the applicability of adapted operation rules for THC reservoirs and ways can be found to supply the local population (of the lower Amu Darya region) with more potable water of higher quality even subject to a parallel reduction of water deficits. Future aggravation of water stress due to increasing population growth and water quality deterioration will require a more comprehensive consideration of water quality aspects in many arid and semi arid regions. The experience gained during this study emphasizes the fact that classical deterministic water quality models provide effective tools to address even more complex water quality problems under water stressed conditions, provided processing of results is performed, to support the decision making process.