A Risk-Based Multi-Objective Optimization Concept for Early-Warning Monitoring Networks

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Felix Bode, Matthias Loschko and Wolfgang Nowak, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
Groundwater is a resource for drinking water and hence needs to be protected from contaminations. However, many well catchments include an inventory of known and unknown risk sources which cannot be eliminated, especially in urban regions. As matter of risk control, all these risk sources should be monitored. A one-to-one monitoring situation for each risk source would lead to a cost explosion and is even impossible for unknown risk sources. However, smart optimization concepts could help to find promising low-cost monitoring network designs.
In this work we develop a concept to plan monitoring networks using multi-objective optimization. Our considered objectives are to maximize the probability of detecting all contaminations and the early warning time and to minimize the installation and operating costs of the monitoring network. A qualitative risk ranking is used to prioritize the known risk sources for monitoring. The unknown risk sources can neither be located nor ranked. Instead, we represent them by a virtual line of risk sources surrounding the production well.
We classify risk sources into four different categories: severe, medium and tolerable for known risk sources and an extra category for the unknown ones. With that, early warning time and detection probability become individual objectives for each risk class. Thus, decision makers can identify monitoring networks which are valid for controlling the top risk sources, and evaluate the capabilities (or search for least-cost upgrade) to also cover moderate, tolerable and unknown risk sources. Monitoring networks which are valid for the remaining risk also cover all other risk sources but the early-warning time suffers.
The data provided for the optimization algorithm are calculated in a preprocessing step by a flow and transport model. Uncertainties due to hydro(geo)logical phenomena are taken into account by Monte-Carlo simulations. To avoid numerical dispersion during the transport simulations we use the particle-tracking random walk method.