USGS Science Goes Overseas

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Randall (Randy) Hanson, a long-time Research Hydrologist with the California Water Science Center, delivered a keynote speech today at an international science workshop in Paris, France. Hanson discussed how water managers can apply the USGS-developed groundwater-flow model, MODFLOW-OWHM, to better understand and manage water resources. Scientists use MODFLOW to investigate and model the complex m

Hanson has worked with groundwater-flow models like MODFLOW for more than 30 years. Hanson and his fellow researchers have applied the model to study groundwater basins across California, including places like Cuyama Valley in Santa Barbara County, where groundwater is the sole source of water supply for domestic, agricultural, and municipal water use. In addition to helping scientists better understand the quantity and quality of groundwater, water models like MODFLOW help forecast how climate change and changes in land-use can affect water resources. MODFLOW is considered an international standard for simulating and forecasting groundwater conditions and interactions between groundwater and surface water.

A picture of an USGS scientist evaluating rock samples from Cuyama Valley

Randy Hanson evaluates rock samples from Cuyama Valley. Studying area geologic formations and history informs scientists about how water may flow through an aquifer, and how water quality might be affected by rocks and sediments in the groundwater system.(Public domain.)

The Sept. 30 workshop was co-organized by the Free and Open Software Tools for Water Resource Management (FREEWAT), and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and hosted approximately 130 international academics and professionals, as well as officials and parliamentarians from the European Union Commission. The workshop focused on providing free and open water management software platforms to foster sustainable management of water and sanitation, and economic growth through job creation.

Besides his passion for water management software, Hanson has a long history of fostering scientific collaboration across communities, cultures, and borders. Hanson has worked with water researchers in San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, to collaboratively manage water resources in the region, as well as along the Arizona-Mexico border. Read more about Hanson’s involvement in international water management here.

Hanson is next off to Pisa, Italy, where he will discuss the integration of MODFLOW-One Water Hydrologic Flow Model groundwater modeling software into FREEWAT.

Bon Voyage, Randy!

Learn more about MODFLOW

Learn more about MODFLOW and other hydrologic modeling in California