Groundwater Modeling

USGS and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council recently published "Simulated Effects of Year 2030 Water-Use and Land-Use Changes on Streamflow near the Interstate-495 Corridor, Assabet and Upper Charles River Basins, Eastern Massachusetts".

This study focuses on the fate of future water supply and streamflow as population growth and land development continue in the I495 Corridor. Future population growth, water demands, and commercial and residential growth were projected for year 2030 by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. To assess the effects of future development on subbasin streamflows, seven scenarios were simulated by using existing computer-based ground-water-flow models with the data projected for year 2030.

Computer modeling of groundwater / surfacewater flows is a way to look at the current conditions in the watershed and predict future trends.

    Questions that we can attempt to answer with modeling include:
  • Are the current water use and development patterns impacting groundwater availability and streamflows?
  • What will happen as new development continues to pave over parts of the watershed?
  • Can alternative groundwater pumping patterns help protect sensitive streams during the summer?
  • Would Low Impact Development (LID) alternatives help to preserve groundwater resources and protect water quality?

Recent work

    Recent efforts to understand the complex groundwater/surface water/land use interactions include:
  • USGS's MODFLOW groundwater model to assess the impact of existing and proposed groundwater withdrawals on streamflows in the Assabet River and its tributaries. A summary of this work is available on the USGS publications site. People and Water in the Assabet River Basin, Eastern Massachusetts, FS-2005-3034 by Leslie DeSimone, 2005.
  • Simulation of Ground-Water Flow and Evaluation of Water-Management Alternatives in the Assabet River Basin, Eastern Massachusetts, Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5114by Leslie DeSimone, 2004.
  • MAPC also reports on the potential of water reuse in eastern Massachusetts, reviewing various projects (including Intel's Hudson facility) re-using water: Water Reuse Report for the SuAsCo