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.
Mar 09, 2015: ModelMuse v.3.5.1 has been released. ModelMuse is a graphical user interface (GUI) for MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-LGR, MODFLOW-LGR2, MODFLOW-NWT, MODFLOW-CFP, MODFLOW-OWHM, MT3DMS, SUTRA, PHAST, MODPATH, and ZONEBUDGET. Support for the Farm Process in MODFLOW-OWHM activated. Refer to release history for complete summary of changes.
Feb 26, 2015: GRIDGEN v.1.0.00 has been released. GRIDGEN is a computer program for creating layered quadtree grids for use with numerical models, such as the MODFLOW-USG program for simulation of groundwater flow. This is the initial release.
Mar 09, 2015: ModelMuse v.3.5.0 has been released. ModelMuse is a graphical user interface (GUI) for MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-LGR, MODFLOW-LGR2, MODFLOW-NWT, MODFLOW-CFP, MODFLOW-OWHM, MT3DMS, SUTRA, PHAST, MODPATH, and ZONEBUDGET. This release adds support for the Farm process in MODFLOW-OWHM. Refer to release history for complete summary of changes.
Jan 12, 2015: GWToolbox v.1.00.00 has been released. The USGS Groundwater Toolbox is a graphical and mapping interface for analysis of hydrologic data. Groundwater Toolbox includes the hydrograph-analysis programs BFI, HYSEP, PART, and RORA (with RECESS). This is the initial release.
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.
For More Information:
You can also learn more about how the USGS continues to lead in the development and application of groundwater modeling software.