Importance of Groundwater Modeling in Understanding Aquifers

Importance of Groundwater Modeling in Understanding Aquifers

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Groundwater is among the important water resource systems component and its extracted from underground water pools called aquifers. The water is pumped up from the ground through pumping wells and distributed for different uses such as agriculture, industry and domestic. However, managing and protecting these natural water resources is often a challenge because of constant groundwater contamination. This contamination is brought about by various factors like industrial wastes, fertilizers and pesticides as well as leachate. In fact, it is estimated that Americans use over 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides every year, which eventually washes into rivers, lakes and other underground water sources. Hence the need for effective and efficient groundwater assessment.

In order to have a clean and safe water resources, and the ability to support ecological life, you need to know what is groundwater. This is not only important in water resources management, but also in other issues like subsidence, flooding, water quality. ground source energy and construction’s foundations. In civil engineering, understanding the impacts of groundwater is important in ensuring a safe and successful construction projects.

Hydrology and other environmental engineering studies are trying to merge conceptual understanding with quantitative data to assist in managing groundwater resources. That’s why experts use modeling concepts to draw conclusions on groundwater resources and flows.

Groundwater modeling is a tool that combines mathematical and numerical model in understanding how the system behaves. While the analytical solution is derived using the mathematical model, it’s limited to more practical problems. Instead, you can use the numerical modeling which makes use of computer software.

So what are the main reasons for groundwater modeling? When using a model, you can make predictions on stress levels working on groundwater, understand the system and use the model as a resource for further field studies. Using the data gathered by a specific model, you can either forecast or predict changes in the system as well as analyze possible assumptions.

For groundwater, there are two main processes you’d want to model. First it’s the groundwater flow and then solute transport. These two processes can be described using various types of models such as conceptual model, mathematical model, physical model and analog model. To have an effective groundwater model, it must simplify complex hydrogeologic conditions in the subsurface and quantitatively represent these conditions for easy analysis.

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