Miel Solutions LLC

Why Groundwater Modeling?

By - Miori
01/26/2022 3:39 PM

​Hydrogeologists use groundwater models to solve real world problems

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own. 

Groundwater modeling was a tool built for function and has been around for decades, even though few scientists have ever heard of it. It began as a rudimentary tool to calculate solutions for problems that we can’t physically see because they are tens (to thousands) of feet underground.

People asked, ‘what happens in the pore spaces of rock 800 feet down the well that allows me to pull water out of it every day? Where is this water really coming from???’ (No, there is not a lake underground, unless you happen to be living on top of a limestone cave.) This used to be a mystery, but one that was illuminated and illustrated with simple groundwater models. Catch up to today and these models allow us to figure out how much water we could sustainably pump and for how long. Very handy.

“All models are wrong, but some are useful” – George Box

While a groundwater model, no matter how detailed, is never a complete depiction of reality, we continue to find new uses for them. In some cases, groundwater flow models are required. The reason no one has ever heard of groundwater modeling is because it is still a rather niche field. Very few hydrogeologists and even fewer hydrologists ever even create models. (See my article on the difference between a Hydrogeologist vs. Hydrologist.) 

Here are some examples of when you do and don’t need a groundwater model:

You don’t need a groundwater flow model to:

-Drill a domestic, stock, or industrial supply well

-Drill a municipal water supply well

-Drill an oil and gas well

(Though, you do need an understanding of the subsurface geology.)

You may need a groundwater model to:

-Assess a municipal water supply under future growth and demand

-Analyze regional flow systems

-Create a water resource development plan

You definitely need a groundwater model to:

-Create an open-pit mining plan

-Understand pit lake infilling and make predictions

-Get a permit for mining (depending on location and regulatory agency)

-Create inputs for dynamic simulation for use in water resource planning

Contact me using the form on www.mielsolutions.com to learn more about how a groundwater model can help you.

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