This study proposes a linked simulation-optimization model to solve the groundwater pumping cost minimization problem for existing and new wells to satisfy any given water demand. The proposed model integrates MODFLOW-2000 with HS-Solver which is a recently proposed global-local hybrid optimization algorithm that integrates heuristic harmony search (HS) algorithm with the spreadsheet Solver add-in. Using the proposed model, a pumping cost minimization problem is solved for different number of wells by considering the pumping rates as well as the locations of additional new wells as the decision variables. Some physical and managerial constraints are defined for this problem. These constraints that need to be satisfied in the optimization process are set up using the penalty function approach. The performance of the proposed model is evaluated on the groundwater flow model of the Tahtali watershed (Izmir-Turkey), an urban watershed which is a key component of Izmir's water supply system. Also, a sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the model results for different sets of HS solution parameters. Results indicate that the proposed simulation-optimization model is found to be efficient in identifying the optimal numbers, locations, and pumping rates of the pumping wells for satisfying the given constraints. Results also show that the model is not only capable of obtaining just any mathematically plausible solution but a realistic one that can be confirmed by repetitive runs of the model. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.