I³MS - Nowak Seminar

Location: Room 115, AICES, Rogowski

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nowak -A Multi-Objective Optimization Concept for Risk-Based Early-Warning Monitoring Networks in Well Catchments

Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems, University of Stuttgart 


Groundwater wells are often protected by restricted land use within wellhead protection zones. Unfortunately, one cannot restrict land use in the entire catchment (especially in urban areas), and there is uncertainty in wellhead delineation. Thus, nearly all well catchments have an entire inventory of risk sources. Each of these risk sources may fail at any time, release contamination and affect the well earlier or later. In fact, most catchments are equipped with some form of monitoring network. Such networks, however, often grow historically, follow various purposes that changed over time, and thus are often suboptimal (if not even inadequate) for rigorous risk control. In this work, we propose a concept to plan monitoring networks through multi-objective optimization. The different objectives are minimal costs, maximal probability to detect all possible contaminants once they entered the aquifer, and earliest possible detection. Also, risk sources that are classified as severe versus medium or tolerable should be treated with different priorities. Therefore, we propose to treat detection probability and early-warning time as separate objectives for each risk class. The concept will allow catchment managers to obtain optimal monitoring networks for risk control, and to gain insight into the costs of certainty, the costs of early warning, and the costs of covering top risks versus the luxury situation of controlling even minor risks.