Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A policy evaluation tool: Management of a multiaquifer system using controlled stream recharge

January 1, 1985

A model for the optimal allocation of water resources was developed for a multiaquifer groundwater and surface water system near Livermore, California. The complex groundwater system was analyzed using a transient, quasi-three-dimensional model that considers the nonlinear behavior of the unconfined aquifer. The surface water system consists of a reservoir that discharges water to three streams which in turn recharge the upper aquifer. Nonlinear streamflow-recharge relationships were developed based upon synoptic field measurements of streamflow. The management model uses constrained optimization to minimize the cost of allocating surface water subject to physical and economic restrictions. Results indicate that a combined hydrologic and economic management model can be used to evaluate management practices of a complex hydrogeologic system. Questions can be posed which either would be impossible or extremely difficult to solve without the management model. We demonstrate the utility of such a model in three areas. First, the efficiency of intra-basin water allocations is evaluated. Second, critical factors that control management decisions of the basin are identified. Third, the influence of economic incentives that can best satisfy the conflicting objectives of various water users is explored.

Publication Year 1985
Title A policy evaluation tool: Management of a multiaquifer system using controlled stream recharge
DOI 10.1029/WR021i011p01731
Authors Wesley R. Danskin, Steven M. Gorelick
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water Resources Research
Index ID 70012936
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center