Modeling Groundwater and Surface Water Interaction to Optimize Water Resource Management
Groundwater is water that occupies voids in soil and rocks and it is located from a few centimeters from the surface to several hundred meters underground. An aquifer is a water body made of groundwater. Groundwater is used for irrigation, residential, commercial, public, and industrial purposes and is used conjunctively with surface water. A computer model can be created to predict groundwater availability and sustainability subject to climate changes. A groundwater computer model is a simplified representation of a real world aquifer system and can be a valuable tool for users and water managers. The purpose of modeling the groundwater-surface water interaction for this research is to gain insight and improve knowledge on optimizing water management under climate change. Various models of groundwater flow in Idaho have been developed and studied with multiple different purposes depending on developer's interest. The importance of groundwater in Idaho grows as Idaho’s population does. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2005, Idaho used an average of 73.8 million cubic meters of freshwater per day, making it the third largest water user State in the United States after California and Texas. Groundwater accounts for 22% of Idaho’s total water use and approximately 92% of drinking water. MODFLOW software will be used to develop a water flow model using available data from the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) and the USGS. The whole society will benefit from a model of groundwater-surface water interaction because it will be used to optimize water management and to study sustainability of a resource that would become scarce.