The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Analytical solutions for minimization of energy use for groundwater pumping

TitleAnalytical solutions for minimization of energy use for groundwater pumping
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsAhlfeld D. P., Laverty MM
JournalWater Resources Research
Start Page1
Date Published06/2011

Analytical solutions are obtained for optimization formulations that minimize energy used for groundwater pumping. The formulations choose pumping rates at groundwater wells while insuring that total pumpage meets a specified demand. Such formulations might be appropriate for an urban water supply or a large−scale agricultural irrigation system. Solutions are found by applying stationarity conditions. The solutions produce simple and physically meaningful requirements on drawdowns at each well. Under certain conditions, pumping rates are optimal when the sum of the nonpumping lift and two times the drawdown at each pumping well takes a constant value across the domain. The results are examined for steady and transient conditions. The results are based on only a few assumptions on the modeled system: the response of drawdown with head is linear, and all pumping activity occurs during the same time periods. Implications of these results for well field operation are suggested.