Groundwater Models

Science Center Objects

Groundwater is an important resource, but availability, quality, and sustainability during growth have become major concerns. Groundwater models are numerical representations that help hydrologists better understand groundwater systems. These models also provide tools for water managers. The Utah Water Science Center has groundwater models for many seperate areas in Utah as well as two regional models that include an expansive area in the western part of the state. 

Utah Water Science Center model reports for recently completed studies can be found under publications on this page. More model reports can be found from the main publications page. 

One active study in the southeastern corner of Utah, currently in a pilot phase, seeks to quantify the status of groundwater as an integrated resource with surface water in the arid and semiarid region of the Colorado Plateau principal aquifer system. Surface-water resources that originate in this region are over allocated and serve 35 million people, 4.5 million acres of farmland, and are used to generate 12 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in the southwestern U.S. Recent studies have found that nearly half of surface-water resources in this region are supplied directly from groundwater discharge. That is, groundwater and surface water are an integrated resource. Prior USGS and other studies have mainly examined groundwater and surface water as separate systems, and there has yet to be a synthesis of groundwater availability in regional and locally-important aquifers that contribute to surface water. As a result, the potential changes to integrated groundwater and surface-water availability owing to human and natural water use and variable climate are uncertain.