The Massachusetts Water Management Act was enacted in 1986 to preserve the State's water resources. The intent of the Act was to allow for sustained economic growth while protecting the natural environment by minimizing the occurrence of low stream flows. As a result of the act, a permit must be obtained for new water withdrawals (including increases on existing withdrawals) of more than 0.1 million gallons per day (0.00438 m3/s). The permits specify the degree to which applicants may withdraw water, and reserve the right to curtail use during low flow seasons. A linear programming model is presented that is capable of assisting regulatory agencies in specifying details of permits for groundwater use. The model links ground water withdrawals with surface streamflow, considering consumptive use and interbasin transfers. The optimization minimizes the depletion of streamflow below a standard while honoring the statistical distribution of allowed withdrawals permitted each applicant. The results specify the amount and timing of allowed withdrawals throughout the year.

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