Application of Multiobjective Optimization to Provide Operational Guidance for Allocating Supply among Multiple Sources

Wang, H., Wanakule, N., Asefa, T., Erkyihun S., Basdekas L., and Hayslett, R. 2023, Application of Multi-Objective Optimization for multiple Supply resources allocation, Journal of Water Resource Planning and Management.

This study is motivated by multipleobjective optimization in short-term water management for a regional water utility. Although an increasing application of multi-objective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA) has been reported in the literature, we are not aware of its use for short-term water management by water utilities with diverse supply sources. This study presents an innovative practice for determining
monthly resource allocation from multiple water supply sources that consider multiple objectives, including deviation from budgeted production, under or overutilization of a given portfolio of resources, and total cost of water production. This method is comprised of a simulation model, namely a production allocation model (PAM) and a MOEA. The decision variables of the MOEA optimization problem are monthly groundwater production from two groundwater wellfields. TheMOEA is used to search for Pareto optimal solutions across different objectives
and the PAM uses MOEA output and considers operational constraints to determine water production from the other four supply sources in the decision horizon. Stochastic demand and supply realizations were generated to capture a wide range of uncertainties which were then sampled by a Latin Hyper Cube to make the computation tractable. A parallel computing environment was used to implement this near real-time decision support tool, providing timely guidance for water resources managers. One major difference between this study and
many reported in the literature is that the MOEA was used to find Pareto solutions for each demand-supply realization rather than the entire ensemble. This setup allows water resources managers to explicitly explore Pareto solutions based on different supply and demand outlooks. The application of the innovative practice is demonstrated for a regional wholesale water supply utility, Tampa BayWater, on the west coast of Florida in the United States. One additional advantage of MOEA-assisted planning is that it allows water managers to combine expert judgments and institutional knowledge in identifying solutions. A comparison between MOEA-assisted monthly production planning and heuristic planning reveals that the potential impact of short-term operations, e.g., deviation from budgeted production, is fully considered in a systematic approach. The proposed method can be applied to other regions with similar challenges in water resources management.

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