In this paper we try to bring a modeling framework in optimization problems for hydro-thermal coordination problems solved in electric power systems. There are certain specifics when dealing with hydro power plants and the reservoirs they are fed from. In many cases these water reservoirs are connected and this involves additional complications in optimization models building. We give guidelines for model size reduction and awareness. This framework is suitable for practitioners willing to be aware of hydro-power modeling and optimization but having no previous mathematical optimization training and experience.