Understanding where groundwater is likely to be found and how it moves can be critical information for many of our clients. Groundwater modeling can be used on scales ranging from single-well-scale studies to large regional-scale studies. Whether it’s for basin resource management studies, wellfield management, environmental impact analyses, groundwater quality protection, or the investigation and remediation of groundwater contamination, our modelers have the experience and technical skills to help our clients understand how aquifers work. Our staff have experience working with a range of groundwater models from simple spreadsheets or analytical tools to highly detailed 3-D numerical models. They know and guide our clients on deciding the exact modeling tool and approach for addressing a project’s needs and hydrogeologic characteristics.
Whether simple or complex, an appropriately designed model can serve as a valuable scientifically based tool for gaining insight into specific water resource concerns. Our modelers have addressed such concerns as the effects of basin-wide groundwater pumping and management activities on the sustainability of an aquifer. They have helped water managers understand the timing and magnitudes of groundwater/surface water exchanges, evaluate the feasibility of expanding or altering wellfield operations, and optimize well placement and design.
Groundwater models are also valuable tools for delineating wellhead protection areas, for evaluating the effects of aquifer recharge or pumping operations on surface water resources and other water supplies (such as wells belonging to senior water rights holders), and for evaluating the potential effects of climate change on groundwater resources.
- U.S. Geological Survey’s suite of finite-difference models (MODFLOW, MODPATH, MT3D)
- A Dutch finite-element model (MicroFEM)
- Unsaturated zone models (MODFLOW-SURFACT, VLEACH)
- Tools for inverse calibration and predictive uncertainty (PEST, Stochastic MODFLOW/MODPATH)
- Various analytical screening tools developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and private vendors
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