Southeast Sound Groundwater Flow Model

Science Center Objects

The Issue: Groundwater is an important resource for domestic, commercial, and industrial usage in the Puyallup River and Chambers-Clover Creek Watersheds, and groundwater discharge helps maintain late-summer and early-fall streamflow (baseflow) in many area streams. Consequently, as the population grows, and commercial and industrial activity increase, so does the demand for groundwater. However, the quantity of usable groundwater, the potential effects of future natural conditions and anthropogenic activities on groundwater resources, and potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on streamflow, are not well understood in the watershed. Additional information is required to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the area's groundwater and surface-water resources.

How USGS will help: In close cooperation with multiple water-resource agencies and stakeholders from the Puyallup River and Chambers-Clover Creek Watersheds, the USGS is conducting a major study of the aquifer system, including construction and calibration of a numerical groundwater flow model, to provide current, complete scientific information for making good decisions about managing this important aquifer.

Chambers-Clover Creek at Kobayashi Park

Chambers-Clover Creek at Kobayashi Park

(Public domain.)

Problem: Groundwater is an important resource for domestic, commercial, and industrial usage in the Southeast Sound (SES) study area, which includes the Puyallup River and Chambers-Clover Creek Watersheds. Groundwater discharge helps maintain late-summer and early-fall streamflow (baseflow) in many area streams. Consequently, as the population grows, and commercial and industrial activity increase, so does the demand for groundwater. However, the quantity of usable groundwater, the potential effects of future natural conditions and anthropogenic activities on groundwater resources, and potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on streamflow, are not well understood in the watershed. Additional information is required to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the area's groundwater and surface-water resources.

Objectives: The USGS will characterize the groundwater-flow system in the watershed, establish and monitor a network of groundwater wells, and integrate all the information into a numerical groundwater-flow model. This model may be used to assess the occurrence, distribution, and movement of groundwater within major hydrogeologic units and its interaction with surface-water features under present and potential future conditions.