Optimal volumetric and economic groundwater mining for the Arkansas Grand Prairie

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Agricultural Water Management



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This paper demonstrates the use of models for development of optimal groundwater extraction strategies for an area in which the availability of water from other sources is anticipated by the end of the planning period. The study area: (1) has more wells than can be modeled individually, (2) has an existing piezometric surface that is stressed and not at steady state, and (3) is a portion of a larger aquifer system, the flow regime of which should not be disrupted. As a result, presented models incorporate, respectively: (1) cell-influence coefficients, instead of well-influence coefficients, (2) a convolution equation not previously demonstrated in optimizing groundwater mining, and (3) constant-head/restrained flux boundary conditions.

Optimal 10-year groundwater extraction volumes are presented for the intensively irrigated 4700 km2 Arkansas Grand Prairie. For the assumed conditions, strategies that maximize extraction volume are very similar to those that maximize the present value of net economic return resulting from agricultural production. The sensitivity of results to limits on drawdown and changes in pumping with time is demonstrated.

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