Planners must sometimes decide how to restrict or reduce groundwater use to prevent unacceptable future problems. Often there are several alternatives (policies). Comparing policies can involve formulating a sustained groundwater yield optimization problem and computing an optimal groundwater pumping strategy for each. This is easy via the SOMOS simulation/optimization (S/O) model. Subsequent analysis can include: flow simulation to predict transient water level response to pumping; and economic evaluation to estimate costs and returns. Two examples predict the best consequences of potential physical and legal management policies for alluvial and valley basin fill aquifers hydraulically linked to surface waters. Results show that: incorporating a physical sustainability requirement and legal water rights can help assure long term economic viability and ecosystems; and applying a pure socially egalitarian policy can be economically disastrous.
Peralta, R. C. and R. Shulstad. 2004. Optimization modeling for groundwater and conjunctive use water policy development. In Proceedings of FEM-MODFLOW International Conference. Presented by Peralta in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia, 13-16 Sep, 2004.