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    The current practice of a particular part of water resources engineering is supported by a variety of commercial software. Pick a specific domain within water resources engineering. What is the software? What does it do? Who uses it and why? What are the assumptions and limitations of the software? What is the future of this software?

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    The specific domain selected for this assignment is groundwater modeling and analysis. In today's world. computer or software based modeling systems are being increasingly used by water resource engineering professionals to perform various tasks such as evaluation of groundwater resources, assessment of groundwater quality, site characterization and model development, contamination assessment, etc. in order to better understand the flow of groundwater and the fate of contaminants. Groundwater modeling software is a powerful tool for the creation of models and visualization. This software provides a tool for every phase of groundwater simulation, ranging from site characterization to visualization.

    The management of groundwater system involves decision making processes related to the quality and quantity of water for which a tool is required by the decision maker for providing the information regarding the future response of the system. Such a tool is called the groundwater model which is developed using such software tools.

    The significance of groundwater studies and modeling have significantly increased in recent years as interaction between surface and groundwater have become very critical in the area of water rights. Communities that depend on wells protect their water supplies by developing skills and expertise in the area of transportation of contaminants in groundwater.

    The use of this software helps in the development of groundwater management strategies, estimating the effect of wells on water levels, developing measures to offset the withdrawal of groundwater, simulating fate and transport of contaminants, etc. Groundwater modeling software helps in creation of models and visualization of results and thus, is a strong graphical tool in which models can be constructed using digital maps and elevation models.

    This software can also be used for predictive simulation purposes such as predicting flow of groundwater in future or condition of contaminant transportation. Different remediation alternatives can also be evaluated using this software.The migration pathway contaminant's create in groundwater can be predicted as well.

    To summarize, the use of groundwater modeling software provides strong support to the planning and decision making process in the management of groundwater resources. These software tools provide a framework for understanding and developing control mechanisms related to ground water systems as help in assessment of resources, restoration and protection efforts. It helps in analyzing the impact of human intervention on the quality of groundwater.

    This software is used by hydro-geologists working in both government agencies and private firms to conduct their studies related to resource assessment, contamination, restoration and protection of groundwater. The use of groundwater models has been used in the field of environmental hydrogeology to investigate different types of hydrogeologic conditions. Groundwater hydrologists may use the ground water models created by this software for various applications such as:

    "Prediction of migration of contaminants and possible fate for risk evaluation.
    Migration pathway of contamination of groundwater can be tracked.
    Design of pump and treatment systems and hydraulic containment can be evaluated.
    Groundwater monitoring networks can be designed.
    Delineation of wellhead protection area.
    Regional groundwater resources can be evaluated.
    Impact of future groundwater withdrawals on groundwater level can be predicted."

    Reference for quoted content above- http://www.megwrm.aun.edu.eg/sub/workshop4/gwguidance_mandle.pdf

    One of the limitations of this software in terms of GUI is the lack of flexibility in terms of creating time variant data such as abstractions or recharge. Various assumptions are made during the construction of conceptual model, such as an aquifers mode of flow, sources of relevant contaminants, the type of solid matrix that the aquifer consists of, etc.

    I think that the future of groundwater modeling software is great with increasing recognition and awareness about the importance of conservation of groundwater due to rising pollution and contamination of groundwater. The conservation of natural resources and especially drinking water is of paramount importance due to the rising population and increasing pollution. Hence, groundwater modeling will continue to gain significance in the area of water resources engineering.

    There is an increasing need across the globe to manage water resources in a better way, the future of groundwater modeling looks quite promising. The existing models will be updated on a real time basis with the availability of new data. Uncertainty will be managed in a better manner with the set up of standardized methods in the databases.


    1) http://www.grac.org/modeling.asp
    2) http://www.hydrology-software.com/modeling_software/product_info.php?products_id=42
    3) http://www.hydrosphere.com/services/groundwater_studies_modeling.htm
    4) http://www.angelfire.com/nh/cpkbanner/publication/GWM_Software_IOSR.pdf
    5) http://www.megwrm.aun.edu.eg/sub/workshop4/fundamentals_bear.pdf
    6) http://www.groundwatergo.com/blog/what-does-the-future-of-groundwater-modeling-look-like/

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