USGS Groundwater Information
Groundwater Resources Program
New & Noteworthy
Press Release: High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Levels Continue to Decline
USGS Groundwater Watch
USGS maintains a network of active wells to provide basic statistics about groundwater levels.
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USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.
Groundwater Model Development
The USGS is at the forefront of devising new techniques to solve practical problems in the study of groundwater resources. Predictive models are needed to make informed decisions in many emerging areas related to the effects of groundwater development. New models and methods enhance all USGS water programs. State and local governments as well as groundwater scientists and engineers in the private sector regularly use USGS models as an integral part of their work.
The USGS Modular Groundwater Flow Model (MODFLOW) is the most widely used program in the world for simulating groundwater flow. The USGS developed MODFLOW in the early 1980s. The Groundwater Resources Program (GWRP) continues to support the enhancement of MODFLOW with updates that help scientists and engineers simulate common features in groundwater systems. New features have been added and the software has been updated to incorporate advancements in our understanding of groundwater hydrology, to respond to changes in user needs, and to take advantage of constantly increasing computer power and speeds.
Below are examples of and links to USGS groundwater software:
Selected USGS Groundwater Software
The software packages below are examples of key USGS groundwater software that has been developed with GWRP support.
MODFLOW-USG uses an unstructured-grid approach to simulate groundwater flow and tightly coupled processes using a control volume finite-difference formulation.
GSFLOW is a coupled groundwater and surface-water flow model based on the USGS Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) and MODFLOW-2005.
Groundwater Management Model Process 2005 is a Groundwater Management Process for the USGS modular three-dimensional groundwater model, MODFLOW-2005, using optimization with local grid refinement (LGR) capability.
Farm Process estimates dynamically integrated supply-and-demand components of irrigated agriculture as part of the simulation of surface-water and groundwater flow based on MODFLOW-2000 and MODFLOW-2005.
MODFLOW-LGR is a version of MODFLOW-2005 with local grid refinement.
SEAWAT is a generic MODFLOW/MT3DMS-based computer program designed to simulate three-dimensional variable-density groundwater flow coupled with multi-species solute and heat transport.
The SWI2 Package is the latest release of the Seawater Intrusion (SWI) Package for MODFLOW. The SWI2 Package allows 3D vertically integrated variable-density groundwater flow and seawater intrusion in coastal multiaquifer systems to be simulated using MODFLOW-2005.
The Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) code has been developed to allow estimates of potential recharge to be made quickly and easily. The code calculates components of the water balance at a daily timestep by means of a modified version of the Thornthwaite-Mather soil-moisture-balance approach.
USGS releases new software and updates existing software on an ongoing basis. The USGS software packages listed here are the most recent groundwater software releases and updates.
Dec 16, 2014: ModelMuse v.3.4 has been released. ModelMuse is a graphical user interface (GUI) for MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-LGR, MODFLOW-LGR2, MODFLOW-NWT, MODFLOW-CFP, MT3DMS, SUTRA, PHAST, MODPATH, and ZONEBUDGET. This release adds support for MNW1 and for generating meshes for SUTRA using Gmsh. Refer to release history for complete summary of changes.
Dec 04, 2014: MODFLOW-OWHM v.1.00.00 has been released. MODFLOW-OWHM is an integrated hydrologic flow model for the analysis of human and natural water movement within a supply-and-demand framework. This is the initial release.
Oct 20, 2014: ModelMuse v.3.3 has been released. ModelMuse is a graphical user interface (GUI) for MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-LGR, MODFLOW-LGR2, MODFLOW-NWT, MODFLOW-CFP, MT3DMS, SUTRA, PHAST, MODPATH, and ZONEBUDGET. This release adds support for the Surface Water Routing process (SWR). Refer to release history for complete summary of changes.
Sep 30, 2014: RRAWFLOW v.1.11 has been released. RRAWFLOW is an R Package providing a lumped-parameter model that simulates streamflow, springflow, groundwater level, solute transport, or cave drip for a measurement point in response to a system input of precipitation, recharge, or solute injection. This is the initial release.
Aug 13, 2014: GWM-2005 v.1.5.1 has been released. GWM is is the Groundwater Management Process for MODFLOW and is used to simulate groundwater management. GWM-2005 is the standard version of GWM and is based on MODFLOW-2005. This is a minor update. Refer to the release history for a complete summary of changes.
13 Wed,, Aug: GWM-VI v.1.0.1 has been released. GWM is is the Groundwater Management Process for MODFLOW and is used to simulate groundwater management. GWM-VI (Version Independent) can be used with any version of MODFLOW that meets certain requirements on input and output. This version also allows parallel processing of the MODFLOW runs required to solve an optimization problem. This version fixes minor bugs and adds support for input of a new variable. Refer to the release history for a complete summary of changes.
Aug 05, 2014: 1DTempPro v.18.104.22.168 has been released. 1DTempPro is a computer program for the analysis of one-dimensional vertical temperature profiles. This release fixed a significant bug that caused the simulation to use a different value for specific discharge (q) than the user-supplied value, especially when simulated temperatures depart from 20 deg C. This release includes new output file, q timeseries, to allow the user to check these values after running the simulation. Version 22.214.171.124 is the next public release following version 126.96.36.199; no intermediary versions were released.
Jun 24, 2014: MODFLOW-NWT v.1.0.9 has been released. MODFLOW-NWT is a Newton formulation for MODFLOW-2005. MODFLOW-NWT is a standalone program that is intended for solving problems involving drying and rewetting nonlinearities of the unconfined groundwater-flow equation. This version includes multiple bug fixes. A Multi-Node Well (MNW2) Package bug was fixed that was causing the cell to well transmissivity to incorrectly be set to zero. Refer to the revision history for complete list of changes.
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You can also learn more about how the USGS continues to lead in the development and application of groundwater modeling software.