Simulation/Optimization Modeling Post-Audits

by R. C. Peralta,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: World Environmental and Water Resource Congress 2006: Examining the Confluence of Environmental and Water Concerns


S/O models have long been used to compute optimal strategies for user-specified optimization problems. It is useful to provide a retrospective of two S/O modeling applications, and how well optimal pumping system designs have performed. Here we look at two cases applying Simple Hydraulic Optimization (SHO). SHO is the easiest S/O model type to apply, because the only simulator it requires is a flow model. Although these cases studies employed early S/O models, now their descendents and other SHO models are freely available. The first SHO case study was completed in 1985, using simulation and S/O models developed specifically for that project (this pre-dated MODFLOW release). S/O modeling was applied cautiously,to only a part of a large aquifer. It evaluated four alternative water policies for the Arkansas Grand Prairie, an area of intense irrigated rice, soybean, and aquacultural production. Groundwater is the major source of water supply and groundwater levels were dropping significantly. The State of Arkansas wanted to assure a reasonable sustained yield of groundwater, and wanted to determine how best to proceed. For that purpose, optimal sustained groundwater yield management strategies were developed for four alternative policies. Major optimization problem constraints included limits on head declines, pumping rates, and boundary flows. That analysis showed that forcing proportionally equal shared reductions in pumping (rigorous adherence to a correlative rights doctrine), is hydrologically very inefficient, and would cause severe economic hardship. The best sustainable result could occur if the area adopted a policy of coordinated water conservation, water importation, and spatially nonuniform pumping limitations.

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