WRIR 02-4086

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Yobbi, Dann K., 2002, Testing the Sensitivity of Pumpage to Increases in Surficial Aquifer System Heads in the Cypress Creek Well-Field Area, West-Central Florida - An Optimization Technique: Water Resources Investigations Report 02-4086, 20 p.


Tampa Bay depends on ground water for most of the water supply. Numerous wetlands and lakes in Pasco County have been impacted by the high demand for ground water. Central Pasco County, particularly the area within the Cypress Creek well field, has been greatly affected. Probable causes for the decline in surface-water levels are well-field pumpage and a decade-long drought. Efforts are underway to increase surface-water levels by developing alternative sources of water supply, thus reducing the quantity of well-field pumpage.

Numerical ground-water flow simulations coupled with an optimization routine were used in a series of simulations to test the sensitivity of optimal pumpage to desired increases in surficial aquifer system heads in the Cypress Creek well field. The ground-water system was simulated using the central northern Tampa Bay ground-water flow model. Pumping solutions for 1987 equilibrium conditions and for a transient 6-month timeframe were determined for five test cases, each reflecting a range of desired target recovery heads at different head control sites in the surficial aquifer system. Results are presented in the form of curves relating average head recovery to total optimal pumpage. Pumping solutions are sensitive to the location of head control sites formulated in the optimization problem and as expected, total optimal pumpage decreased when desired target head increased. The distribution of optimal pumpage for individual production wells also was significantly affected by the location of head control sites.

A pumping advantage was gained for test-case formulations where hydraulic heads were maximized in cells near the production wells, in cells within the steady-state pumping center cone of depression, and in cells within the area of the well field where confining-unit leakance is the highest. More water was pumped and the ratio of head recovery per unit decrease in optimal pumpage was more than double for test cases where hydraulic heads are maximized in cells located at or near the production wells.

Additionally, the ratio of head recovery per unit decrease in pumpage was about three times more for the area where confining-unit leakance is the highest than for other leakance zone areas of the well field. For many head control sites, optimal heads corresponding to optimal pumpage deviated from the desired target recovery heads. Overall, pumping solutions were constrained by the limiting recovery values, initial head conditions, and by upper boundary conditions of the ground-water flow model.

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