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The USGS is at the forefront of devising new techniques and computer software to solve practical problems in the study of water resources.

Illustration of MODFLOW 6 large-scale and inset model domains
The “MODFLOW 6” software released in 2017 allows simulation of both regional and local hydrologic systems simultaneously, as illustrated for the large-scale and inset model domains.

Predictive models are needed to make informed decisions in many emerging areas related to the effects of water resources development. New models and methods enhance all USGS water programs. State and local governments as well as scientists and engineers in the private sector regularly use USGS models as an integral part of their work.

Numerical simulation software is critical to the water resource studies of the USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP). Software developed and maintained by the USGS are integral to WAUSP studies and are required to effectively forecast future conditions. Moreover, this software is used in studies across the USGS.

WAUSP supports modeling software development to:

  • simulate groundwater and surface-water flow;
  • allow the creation and viewing of groundwater and surface-water models with graphical user interfaces;
  • automate the fine-tuning (calibration) of models to real-world data;
  • separate the primary components of streamflow into runoff from the land surface and groundwater discharge from adjoining aquifers with the Groundwater Toolbox;
  • store and retrieve subsurface information with the GeoLog Locator web service;
  • estimate groundwater recharge;
  • analyze temperature, flowmeter, and geophysical data.