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Optimum Pumping Well Placement and Capacity Design for a Groundwater Lowering System in Urban Areas with the Minimum Cost Objective

Shourian, Mojtaba, Davoudi, S. M. Javad
Water resources management 2017 v.31 no.13 pp. 4207-4225
Lampyridae, algorithms, computer software, cost effectiveness, dewatering, drainage, groundwater, hydrologic models, mining, subsidence, urban areas, water table, wells, Iran
High level of groundwater in urban areas may cause major problems in construction and mining projects. One effective solution is to implement drainage wells to lower the water table into the desired level through an appropriate pumping strategy. In this paper, placement and capacity of the dewatering wells are optimized by minimizing the total costs of a groundwater lowering system (GLS) through a simulation-optimization approach. For this purpose, MODFLOW, the groundwater simulation software, is coupled with the Firefly Optimization Algorithm (FOA) to find the optimal solution. The proposed FOA-MODFLOW model is tested in an urban area in east southern part of Iran, Kerman city’s ancient Mosque region. Results show that the obtained cost-effective design noticeably outperforms the consulting engineers’ proposal in terms of both the number of drilled wells and the associated costs with justifiable constraints. Optimal strategy satisfies the constraints by suggesting construction of two wells with totally pumping rate of 5503 m³/day while the water table is dropped 1.5 m with a ground subsidence less than 80 mm in the region. Additionally, an investigation on the value of various design parameters emphasizes on the sensitivity of the solutions to the permissible groundwater level and the well’s maximum pumping rates among the others.