Teaching and Educational Methods
Solving Optimal Groundwater Problems with Excel
Christopher A. Wada(a), Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin(b), James A. Roumasset(c), and Kimberly M. Burnett(a)
(a)University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization, (b)Chulalongkorn University, (c)University of Hawai‘i at Manoa,
JEL Codes: A2, A22, Q2, Q25
Keywords: Coastal aquifers, dynamic optimization, Excel Solver, groundwater management, sustainable yield
Publish Date: May 2, 2023
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Welfare maximizing management of coastal groundwater requires a sequence of pumping targets, typically terminating with a constant withdrawal rate in the long run. In contrast, managing according to sustainable yield at best identifies the constant rate of pumping in the long run. We illustrate an accessible solution method, using Excel Solver to find the optimal transition paths of groundwater pumping, price, and head level and the corresponding solutions in the long run. The developed framework is applied to the Pearl Harbor Aquifer (PHA) in Hawaii using data from previous studies. Each step of the solution process is described, including setting parameter values and defining objective, variable, and constraint cells in Excel to facilitate successful replication of the results. Possible extensions are also discussed such as watershed conservation, protection of groundwater dependent ecosystems, and management of multiple aquifers.
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Articles in this issue
Solving Optimal Groundwater Problems with Excel
Christopher A. Wada, Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin, James A. Roumasset, and Kimberly M. Burnett
Teaching Water Economics in a Desert Environment
Teaching Water Economics by Building Problem-Based Case Studies
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Frank A. Ward
Teaching Principles of Water Economics to Non-Economists: Lessons from California
Mehdi Nemati and Ariel Dinar
Reconciling Theory and Practice in Higher Education Water Economics Courses
To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild When Disaster Hits
Jada M. Thompson, Misti D. Sharp, and Jonathan C. Walton