Environmental Management

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 553–566

Optimal Environmental Management Strategy and Implementation for Groundwater Contamination Prevention and Restoration


    • Center for Subsurface Modeling Support (Shaw Environmental)U.S. EPA Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center

DOI: 10.1007/s00267-003-0299-4

Cite this article as:
Wang, M. Environmental Management (2006) 37: 553. doi:10.1007/s00267-003-0299-4


An innovative management strategy is proposed for optimized and integrated environmental management for regional or national groundwater contamination prevention and restoration allied with consideration of sustainable development. This management strategy accounts for availability of limited resources, human health and ecological risks from groundwater contamination, costs for groundwater protection measures, beneficial uses and values from groundwater protection, and sustainable development. Six different categories of costs are identified with regard to groundwater prevention and restoration. In addition, different environmental impacts from groundwater contamination including human health and ecological risks are individually taken into account. System optimization principles are implemented to accomplish decision-makings on the optimal resources allocations of the available resources or budgets to different existing contaminated sites and projected contamination sites for a maximal risk reduction. Established management constraints such as budget limitations under different categories of costs are satisfied at the optimal solution. A stepwise optimization process is proposed in which the first step is to select optimally a limited number of sites where remediation or prevention measures will be taken, from all the existing contaminated and projected contamination sites, based on a total regionally or nationally available budget in a certain time frame such as 10 years. Then, several optimization steps determined year-by-year optimal distributions of the available yearly budgets for those selected sites. A hypothetical case study is presented to demonstrate a practical implementation of the management strategy. Several issues pertaining to groundwater contamination exposure and risk assessments and remediation cost evaluations are briefly discussed for adequately understanding implementations of the management strategy.


Groundwater contamination Prevention and restoration System optimization Environmental management Strategy Implementation Human health and ecological risks Sustainable development

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006