Simulation-optimization approach for evaluating the feasibility of managed aquifer recharge in the Samail Lower Catchment, Oman

Girma Yimer Ebrahim, Andreja Jonoski, Ali Al-Maktoumi, Mushtaque Ahmed, Arthur Mynett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a simulation-optimization approach for evaluating the feasibility of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) in the Samail Lower Catchment, Oman. The objective is to provide a maximum recharge and extraction rate through MAR in an annual cycle of two successive injection and recovery periods, while meeting operational and system constraints such as water level, gradient, and travel time. Three groundwater management problems were solved by coupling a simulation model with successive linear programming (SLP) and the nondominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) multiobjective genetic algorithm. Sensitivity analysis was also completed to examine the overall response of the simulation-optimization results to changes in hydraulic conductivities and maximum injection rates. Results using the SLP algorithm showed that the total volume of injected water for 4 months of injection without recovery is as high as 8 × 106 m3, and the total recovered volume of water for 4 months injection and 8 months recovery is approximately 5.3 × 106 m3, giving a total recovery efficiency of approximately 66%. For the same setup the NSGA-II algorithm derived the entire nondominated front of solutions for two conflicting objectives: maximizing recovery rate and maximizing minimum groundwater head close to the sea (for preventing seawater intrusion). This algorithm includes travel time constraints directly in the optimization process. In conclusion, the proposed approach provides a cost-effective means to evaluate MAR in a coastal aquifer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05015007
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016



  • Groundwater
  • Managed aquifer recharge
  • Numerical modeling
  • Simulation-optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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