A policy evaluation tool: Management of a multiaquifer system using controlled stream recharge

Water Resources Research
By:  and 



A model for the optimal allocation of water resources was developed for a multiaquifer groundwater and surface water system near Livermore, California. The complex groundwater system was analyzed using a transient, quasi-three-dimensional model that considers the nonlinear behavior of the unconfined aquifer. The surface water system consists of a reservoir that discharges water to three streams which in turn recharge the upper aquifer. Nonlinear streamflow-recharge relationships were developed based upon synoptic field measurements of streamflow. The management model uses constrained optimization to minimize the cost of allocating surface water subject to physical and economic restrictions. Results indicate that a combined hydrologic and economic management model can be used to evaluate management practices of a complex hydrogeologic system. Questions can be posed which either would be impossible or extremely difficult to solve without the management model. We demonstrate the utility of such a model in three areas. First, the efficiency of intra-basin water allocations is evaluated. Second, critical factors that control management decisions of the basin are identified. Third, the influence of economic incentives that can best satisfy the conflicting objectives of various water users is explored.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A policy evaluation tool: Management of a multiaquifer system using controlled stream recharge
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/WR021i011p01731
Volume 21
Issue 11
Year Published 1985
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 17 p.
First page 1731
Last page 1747