Groundwater Optimization Handbook: Flow, Contaminant Transport, and Conjunctive Management, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Groundwater Optimization Handbook

Flow, Contaminant Transport, and Conjunctive Management, 1st Edition

By Richard C. Peralta

CRC Press

532 pages | 16 Color Illus. | 202 B/W Illus.

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Existing and impending water shortages argue for improving water quantity and quality management. Groundwater Optimization Handbook: Flow, Contaminant Transport, and Conjunctive Management helps you formulate and solve groundwater optimization problems to ensure sustainable supplies of adequate quality and quantity. It shows you how to more effectively use simulation-optimization (S-O) modeling, an economically valuable groundwater management tool that couples simulation models with mathematical optimization techniques.

Written for readers of varying familiarity with groundwater hydrology and mathematical optimization, the handbook approaches complex problems realistically. Its techniques have been applied in many legal settings, with produced strategies providing up to 57% improvement over those developed without S-O modeling. These techniques supply constructible designs, planning and management strategies, and metrics for performance-based contracts.

Learn how to:

  • Recognize opportunities for applying S-O models
  • Lead client, agency, and consultant personnel through the strategy design and adaptation process
  • Formulate common situations as clear deterministic/stochastic and single/multiobjective mathematical optimization problems
  • Distinguish between problem nonlinearities resulting from physical system characteristics versus management goals
  • Create an S-O model appropriate for your specific needs or select an existing transferrable model
  • Develop acceptable feasible solutions and compute optimal solutions
  • Quantify tradeoffs between multiple objectives
  • Evaluate and adapt a selected optimal strategy, or use it as a metric for comparison

Drawing on the author’s numerous real-world designs and more than 30 years of research, consulting, and teaching experience, this practical handbook supplies design procedures, detailed flowcharts, solved problems, lessons learned, and diverse applications. It guides you through the maze of multiple objectives, constraints, and uncertainty to calculate the best strategies for managing flow, contamination, and conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water.

Ancillary materials are available from the Downloads tab on the book page at


"In my experience, most text books only cover the theory behind a topic and go into great detail on the research and derivation of various methodologies. However, practitioners in the field also need to know how the theoretical underpinnings of the science get applied in the real world. Few books actually accomplish this and thus are not really all that useful to those of us who "get our hands dirty". Dr. Peralta's book covers both aspects quite well. The theory behind various optimization techniques is presented along with how these theories and methods are used to solve real problems. The examples in the book are not just small synthetic problems that bear no resemblance to reality. They illustrate the solution to large-scale, real optimization"

James Rumbaugh, Environmental Simulations, Inc., Reinholds, Pennsylvania, USA

"The book provides a good summary of the fundamental optimization techniques from the classical approaches to the current state-of-the-art methods, but provides excellent guidance on the appropriate application to ground water problems. The book illustrates most of the important concepts with simple theoretical examples and/of real-world applications of the techniques. The efficient application of these techniques requires experience and perhaps intuition, and Dr. Peralta has tried his best to convey some of the insights from his extensive portfolio of successful optimization projects to the reader. The strength of the book really lies beyond the early chapters covering the basics of optimization; it is in the discussion of these actual applications."

David J. Becker, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Table of Contents

PART I Introduction to S-O Concepts

Essence of Optimizing Groundwater Management

Book Goals

The Need for and Benefits of Optimization

Considerations When Using Optimization

Groundwater Systems Analysis Perspective and Tools

Specific Reader Goals

Introduction to Mathematical Optimization for Groundwater Strategy Design

Simulation (S) and S-O Modeling and Basic Optimization Terminology

Simple Optimization Problem

Manual Simplex Solution

PART II Optimization Theory

Optimization Problem Types and Categories


Common Optimization Problem Types (LP, QP, IP, MIP, NLP, MINLP)

Linearity and Nonlinearity in S-O Modeling

Single-Objective and Multiobjective Optimization

Deterministic and Stochastic Optimization

Optimization of Multiple Physical Processes

Variable, Constraint, and Objective Function Flexibility

Deterministic Optimization


Solution Space Geometry

Overview of Optimizer Type Options

Classical Optimization Types

Non-Classical Optimization Types

Simplifying Optimization Techniques

Optimization with Uncertainty


Addressing Uncertainty

Stochastic Modeling Tools

Robustness Optimization

Multiobjective Optimization Approaches


Multiobjective Optimization

Illustrative Multiobjective LP and QP Problems

PART III Exact and Approximation Simulator Theory

Embedded Numerical and Analytical Equations

Introduction and Terminology

Embedded Numerical Equation

Embedded Analytical Equation

Embedded Discretized Numerical Model

Response Matrix Simulators


Discretized Convolution Integrals (Response Matrix or Approximator)

Example: Predicting Head Changes Resulting from Assumed Transient Pumping Strategy

Influence Coefficient Development Process

Influence Coefficient Computation

Approximation and Other Simulators


Statistical Regression Equations and Power Functions

Artificial Neural Networks

Basic Economic and Fiscal Simulators

PART IV S-O Processes and Guidance

Formulating Optimization Problems and Selecting S-O Tools


Identify the S-O Model Purpose

State the Optimization Problem Conceptually and Refine It

Prepare Preliminary Optimization Problem Formulation(s), without Selecting S-O Approach

Clarify Linearity-Nonlinearity of Physical System and Management Problem

Select an S-O Approach

Select S-O Modeling Tool and Obtain or Develop S-O Model and Postprocessor

Preparing Data Input and Implementing S-O Tool

General Concepts

Flow Optimization Illustration

Transport Optimization Illustrations

Select Candidate Stimuli Locations

Prepare Initial Feasible Solution (Strategy) and Optimization Parameters as Input Data

Run S-O Model

Analyze Results and Sensitivity

Report Results

Implement Strategy and Monitor System

Groundwater and Conjunctive Management S-O Application Guidance


Water Supply and Flow Hydraulic Management for Nonlinear River-Aquifer System (with Multiobjective)

Flow Optimization: Limiting Surface Water Depletion in Dynamic Stream-Aquifer System

Flow Optimization: Conjunctive Management of Dynamic Stream-Aquifer System

Containment Optimization: Plume Management via Hydraulic Optimization

Optimal Site Dewatering System Design

Groundwater Contamination and Transport Management S-O Application Guidance


Background Situation and Optimization Needs

S-O Approach Selection

Initial Screening Runs

Optimization Scenarios Overview

Solving MINLP Minimizing Residual Mass Optimization Problem Using GA-TS

Illustrating the Effect of Minimizing Total Pumping on Maximum Concentration and Residual Mass

The Effect of Minimizing Cost on the Optimal Result

Contrasting Minimizing Mass Remaining, Pumping, and Cost

Solving MINLP Minimizing Residual Mass Optimization Problem Using ANN-GA


PART V Applications

Hydraulic S-O Modeling Applications


Arkansas Grand Prairie and Northeastern Arkansas—Sustainable Conjunctive Use

Cache Valley, Utah—Safe Yield Practice While Protecting Surface Water Resources

Norton Air Force Base, Southwest Boundary TCE Plume—Hydraulic Plume Containment (California)

Contaminant Transport S-O Modeling Applications


Massachusetts Military Reservation, Chemical Spill 10 Plume (Massachusetts)

Blaine Naval Ammunition Depot Multiple Plume Management (Nebraska)

Optimal Robust Pumping Strategy Design for Umatilla Chemical Depot (Oregon)

Multiple Realization Pump and Treat System Optimization (California)




Each chapter includes a bibliography.

About the Author

Richard Peralta, PhD, PE, has used S-O modeling to design strategies for more than 20 sites or real-world projects. As a Utah Cooperative Extension Service water quality coordinator, he optimized nonpoint and point source contamination management, and collaborated with state and federal agencies in technology transfer and public education. Through the University of Arkansas, and subsequently Utah State University, private work, and the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he worked in 25 U.S. states and in numerous countries. For the military, he participated in and led many environmental contamination remediation evaluation teams and helped provide optimal solutions that were successfully implemented in the field. After several years of advising on environmental matters in the Pentagon, Colonel Peralta retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a chief bioenvironmental engineer. He is a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Utah State University, consults privately, and is the distributor of SOMOS software. For more information, see Dr. Peralta’s page at the College of Engineering at Utah State University.

Contributing author Ineke M. Kalwij, PhD, PEng, collaborates with Dr. Peralta, working on groundwater optimization software development and publications. She also provides consulting services to clients, primarily in the area of groundwater system management. For more information, see Kalwij Water Dynamics Inc.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply