earth-water Concepts inc - modeling

By: Waterwatch  09-12-2011
Keywords: modeling, water quality, Water Supply



Modeling environmental processes can give insight to support and expand upon professional concepts and scientific hypothesis, by quantitatively representing the essential features of actual groundwater systems and interaction with surface waters, often with graphical 3-D visualization capabilities that can directly benefit clients.

Developing and applying complex groundwater and surface water models requires sound data and an understanding of the physics of the integrated hydrologic, geologic, and landscape systems. For over 15 years, earth-water Concepts inc. hydrogeologists have been modeling hydrologic systems in various geographic and geologic settings across Atlantic Canada to meet regulatory requirements and for water supply analysis. 

Groundwater flow modeling
earth-water Concepts inc. has been developing
and applying groundwater flow models to provide information to help water suppliers and water-resource planners make educated decisions about the future of resource and water supplies. In addition to the solute transport models described farther below, earth-water Concepts inc. has produced numerous 2-D and 3-D stand-alone and GIS-based models to help communities and private water utilities with:

  • wellfield siting and design 
  • wellfield optimization
  • hydrogeologic characterization
  • water quality and hydrochemistry
  • wellhead protection area delineations
  • pumping impact studies
  • mine and other drainage impact analysis
  • regional water balance and groundwater recharge and discharge studies
  • watershed modeling and analysis
  • conjunctive use evaluations

Surface water modeling
earth-water Concepts inc. hydrogeologists perform the hydraulic and watershed modeling required by industry, land developers and regulatory agencies to evaluate water availability and reservoir storage needs for water supply and hydro-electric projects, to meet storm water management requirements, and to analyse the impact of development in floodplain areas. We use the following computer programs for surface-water and watershed modeling: HEC-1, HEC-2, HEC-RAS, HSPF, SWAT, GRASS-GIS models (for local and watershed-scale erosion analysis, nutrient transport, rainfall and storm-water run-off, hydrologic and landscape analysis), and SWMM to simulate run-off in urban areas. Our surface-water capabilities and services include:

  • precipitation modeling and watershed catchment analysis
  • water balance and surface water reservoir storage analysis
  • creation of stormwater flow and stream flooding models
  • evaluation of storm-run-off changes due to land use change
  • watershed erosion and nutrient transport analysis
  • modelling to predict storm run-off effects on receiving water quality
  • non-point source contaminant assessment of receiving waters
  • floodplain delineation and construction impact analysis

Contaminant fate and transport
Surface-water and groundwater models can serve as excellent tools to help water suppliers and water-resource planners assess levels of risk, emergency response times, and to make decisions regarding best management practices to protect existing or proposed surface-water and groundwater supplies. This is particularly important in areas of mixed land use where source-land control is not complete.

We work cooperatively with communities, water suppliers and planners to complete inventories of the point and non-point contamination sources within watersheds, then use such programs as SWAT coupled with GRASS-GIS, and other GRASS watershed models to simulate sediment and nutrient transport to surface waters to help assess possible surface water supply and groundwater recharge quality issues.

In addition to using WhAEM to help delineate wellhead protection areas, we use the following computer programs, coupled with GIS, to model groundwater flow and solute transport: FlowPath for 2-D modeling where data is scarce; IGW for real time, multi-scale 3-D groundwater and solute transport modeling; PMWIN to integrate the 3D models MODFLOW, solute transport models MT3D, MT3DMS, MOC3D, PMPATH 99, and inverse models PEST and UCODE; and HST3D to assess heat and solute transport.

 

Keywords: groundwater, Groundwater And Surface Water, modeling, Regulatory Agencies, water quality, Water Suppliers, Water Supply, Wellhead Protection,

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