Optimal Management of Large‐Scale Aquifers: Methodology and Applications

Nisai Wanakule, Larry W. Mays, Leon S. Lasdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A methodology is developed for determining optimal pumping and recharge of large scale artesian and/or nonartesian aquifers. This methodology couples optimization techniques with existing groundwater simulation models. It can be applied to both groundwater policy evaluation (allocation) such as large‐scale aquifers and to hydraulic management problems such as the dewatering of mining or excavation sites. The state variables which represent the heads and the control variables which represent the pumpages are implicitly related through the groundwater simulator. The simulator equations are used to express the states in terms of the controls, yielding a much smaller reduced problem. Techniques for computing gradients of reduced problem functions are described. The reduced problem is solved by combining augmented Lagrangian and reduced gradient procedures. The optimization‐groundwater simulation system is referred to as GWMAN. Two small examples are solved in addition to both steady state and transient type dewatering problems. Also, an application to the Edwards Aquifer in Texas is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-465
Number of pages19
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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