Regional Groundwater Management with Health Risk Assessment

by Susan D. Pelmulder, (A.M.ASCE),
Yung-Hsin Sun,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


A regional groundwater system may have several areas which are contaminated with organic chemicals. In general, the objective of groundwater management is to supply the demand for water in the most cost-efficient manner, while maintaining the groundwater elevations at an acceptable level. The existence of areas of contamination raises additional concerns about contaminant concentrations in the water supply wells and/or health risk associated with use of well water. An approach is presented for examining the trade-off relationship between plume isolation cost and health risk. The approach presented is most applicable to consideration of prioritizing remedial actions within a region. The management problem is solved in two levels of different scales. First, a mixed integer programming problem is solved at each contamination site to determine optimal pumping locations and rates for local hydraulic gradient control. The second level of optimization is the regional management problem. The regional management problem chooses a combination of local designs in an effort to minimize the potential health risk for a given budget constraint. By varying the available budget, a trade-off curve between plume isolation cost and health risk can be obtained for use in decision making.

Subject Headings: Health hazards | Groundwater management | Urban and regional development | Groundwater pollution | Risk management | Water supply | Benefit cost ratios | Water pollution

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