Multi‐constrained catchment scale optimization of groundwater abstraction using linear programming

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Due to increasing water demands globally, freshwater ecosystems are under constant pressure. Groundwater resources, as the main source of accessible freshwater, are crucially important for irrigation worldwide. Over‐abstraction of groundwater leads to declines in groundwater levels; consequently, the groundwater inflow to streams decreases. The reduction in base flow and alteration of the stream flow regime can potentially have an adverse impact on groundwater‐dependent ecosystems. A spatially distributed, coupled groundwater‐surface water model can simulate the impacts of groundwater abstraction on aquatic ecosystems. A constrained optimization algorithm and a simulation model in combination can provide an objective tool for the water practitioner to evaluate the interplay between economic benefits of groundwater abstractions and requirements to environmental flow. In this study, a holistic catchment‐scale groundwater abstraction optimization framework has been developed that allows for a spatially explicit optimization of groundwater abstraction, while fulfilling a pre‐defined maximum allowed reduction of stream flow (base flow (Q95) or median flow (Q50)) as constraint criteria for 1484 stream locations across the catchment. A balanced K‐Means clustering method was implemented to reduce the computational burden of the optimization. The model parameters and observation uncertainties calculated based on Bayesian linear theory allow for a risk assessment on the optimized groundwater abstraction values. The results from different optimization scenarios indicated that using the linear programming optimization algorithm in conjunction with integrated models provides valuable information for guiding the water practitioners in designing an effective groundwater abstraction plan with the consideration of environmental flow criteria important for the ecological status of the entire system.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Multi‐constrained catchment scale optimization of groundwater abstraction using linear programming
Series title Groundwater
DOI 10.1111/gwat.13083
Edition Online First
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Water Science Center
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