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Water Software > Groundwater Software > MODFLOW and Related Programs > OWHM

MODFLOW-OWHM: One Water Hydrologic Flow Model

Overview of MODFLOW-OWHM

[Image: Cover of software documentation report. ]

The One-Water Hydrologic Flow Model (MF-OWHM) is a MODFLOW-based integrated hydrologic flow model (IHM). MF-OWHM is designed for the analysis of a broad range of conjunctive-use issues. Conjunctive use is the combined use of groundwater and surface water. MF-OWHM allows the simulation, analysis, and management of human and natural water movement within a physically-based supply-and-demand framework.

MF-OWHM is based on the Farm Process for MODFLOW-2005 (MF-FMP2, Schmid and Hanson, 2009) that is now combined with Local Grid Refinement (LGR, Mehl and Hill, 2013) for embedded models to allow use of the Farm Process (FMP) and Streamflow Routing (SFR) within embedded grids. MF-OWHM also now includes new features such as the Surface-Water Routing Process (SWR, Hughes and others, 2012), Seawater Intrusion (SWI, Bakker and others, 2013), and Riparian Evapotranspiration (RIP-ET, Maddock III and others, 2012). MF-OWHM contains all the previously available solvers and the new solvers such as Newton-Raphson (NWT, Niswonger and others, 2011) and the nonlinear preconditioned conjugate gradient (PCGN, Naff and Banta, 2008).

What makes MF-OWHM unique is that it allows the simulation of head-dependent flows, flow-dependent flows, and deformation dependent flows that collectively affect conjunctive use of water resources. The supply-constrained and demand-driven framework combined with the linkages among packages and processes provides relations of water use and movement, and helps to prevent mass loss to an open system thus facilitating the accounting for "all of the water everywhere and all of the time."

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Program History

Version Information and Notes

MF-OWHM v1.00.00 11/05/2014 is the initial release.

Note: Users are encouraged to read the documents that are provided in the 'doc' directory of this software distribution.
Also see contents of the separate files: readme.txt, release.txt, MF_OWHM.txt, Mf2005.txt, Stack Overflow or Segmentation Fault Info.txt, and Examples_Description.txt


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Information and Downloads

General Information

Current Release: v.1.00.00, 11/05/2014

MF-OWHM can be downloaded for Windows or for Unix-based operating systems. The general structure is "MF_OWHM_X_X", where X_X is the version number, as the main folder and within that are:

  • a "bin" folder, which contains the executables;
  • a "doc" folder, which contains all documentation;
  • an "examples" folder, which contains examples;
  • a "src" folder, which contains all source code; and lastly,
  • a "src_Postprocessors", which is the source code for HydFmt and Zonebudget.

If you wish to be included in our email list to be notified when updates occur, please send an email to with the word "add" in the title.

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Software Downloads

Users are highly encouraged to read through the documentation located in the "doc" folder. If you use of this software please cite the "USGS Techniques and Methods 6-A51 One-Water Hydrologic Flow Model (MODFLOW-OWHM)" report in any associated publications and reports.

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Documentation of MF-OWHM

  • Hanson, R.T., Boyce, S.E., Schmid, Wolfgang, Hughes, J.D., Mehl, S.M., Leake, S.A., Maddock, Thomas, III, and Niswonger, R.G., 2014, One-Water Hydrologic Flow Model (MODFLOW-OWHM): U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6-A51, 120 p.,
    This is the official USGS report that describes the theory and input instructions at the time the distribution was first released.
  • Online MODFLOW-OWHM User's Guide:
    Packages and processes often evolve over time. The Guide includes the most up-to-date instructions and related information for the current release of MODFLOW-OWHM. The Guide can be used as a quick way of looking up input formats and USGS options available.

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MODFLOW-OWHM Process and Packages Support

The table below provides quick access to the key documentation for MODFLOW-OWHM processes and packages:

  • Report: The official USGS report describes the theory and input instructions at the time the package or process was first released.
  • Online Guide: Packages and processes often evolve over time. The Online User's Guide includes the most up-to-date input instructions and related details.

Note: Click on a column header to sort the table by that column.

Functionality Package or Process Name Online Guide Report
BAS Basic Package BAS Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
DIS Discretization Package DIS Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
BCF Block-Centered Flow Package BCF Online Help Harbaugh, 2005
LPF Layer-Property Flow Package LPF Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
HFB Horizontal Flow Barrier Package HFB Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
CHD Time-Variant Specified-Head Option CHD Online Help Harbaugh, 2005
RIV River Package RIV Online Help Harbaugh, 2005
DRN Drain Package DRN Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
WEL Well Package WEL Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
GHB General Head Boundary Package GHB Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
RCH Recharge Package RCH Online Help Harbaugh, 2005
EVT Evapotranspiration Package EVT Online Help Harbaugh, 2005
SIP Strongly Implicit Procedure Package SIP Online Help Harbaugh, 2005
PCG Preconditioned-Conjugate Gradient Package PCG Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
DE4 Direct Solver DE4 Online Help Harbaugh, 2005
PVAL Parameter Value Package PVAL Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
ZONE Zone Package ZONE Online Help Hanson and others, 2014
MULT Multiplier Package MULT Online Help Hanson and others, 2014
OC Output Control OC Online Help Harbaugh, 2005; and Hanson and others, 2014
FMP Farm Process FMP Online Help Hanson and others, 2014
SWR Surface Water Routing SWR Online Help Hughes and others, 2012
SWI2 Seawater Intrusion Package SWI2 Online Help Bakker and others, 2013; and 
SWI2 Example Problems [66MB ZIP]
UPW Upstream Weight Package UPW Online Help Niswonger and others, 2011; and Hanson and others, 2014
MNW1 Version 1 of Multi-Node Well Package MNW1 Online Help Halford and Hanson, 2002
MNW2 Version 2 of the Multi-Node Well Package MNW2 Online Help Konikow and others, 2009; and Hanson and others, 2014
MNWI Multi-Node Well Information Package MNWI Online Help Konikow and others, 2009
LGR Local Grid Refinement Package LGR Online Help Mehl and Hill, 2013
BFH Boundary Flow and Head Package BFH Online Help Mehl and Hill, 2007
GMG Geometric MultiGrid Solver Package GMG Online Help Wilson and Naff, 2004
PCGN Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient solver with improved nonlinear control PCGN Online Help Naff and Banta, 2008
NWT Newton Solver NWT Online Help Niswonger and others, 2011; and Hanson and others, 2014
RIP Riparian Evapotranspiration RIP Online Help Maddock and others, 2012
STR Stream Package STR Online Help Prudic, 1989
FHB Flow and Head Boundary Package FHB Online Help Leake and Lilly, 1997
IBS Interbed Storage Package IBS Online Help Leake and Prudic, 1991
HUF Hydrogeologic-Unit Flow Package HUF Online Help Anderman and Hill, 2000; Anderman and others, 2002; and Anderman and Hill, 2003
KDEP Hydraulic-Conductivity Depth-Dependence Capability KDEP Online Help Anderman and Hill, 2003
LVDA Model-Layer Variable-Direction Horizontal Anisotropy Package LVDA Online Help Anderman and others, 2002
ETS Evapotranspiration with a Segmented Function Package ETS Online Help Banta, 2000
DRT Drains with Return Flow Package DRT Online Help Banta, 2000
RES Reservoir Package RES Online Help Fenske and others, 1996
SUB Subsidence Package SUB Online Help Hoffman and others, 2003; and Hanson and others, 2014
SFR Streamflow-Routing Package SFR Online Help Prudic and others, 2004; and Niswonger and Prudic, 2005
LAK Lake Package LAK Online Help Merritt and Konikow, 2000
UZF Unsaturated Zone Package UZF Online Help Niswonger and others, 2006
GAG Gage Package GAG Online Help Prudic and others, 2004; Niswonger and Prudic, 2005; and Merritt and Konikow, 2000
OBS Observation Process OBS Online Help Hill and others, 2000
HOB Head Observation Package HOB Online Help Hill and others, 2000


Constant Head Observation Package

CHOB Online Help

Hill and others, 2000
GBOB General-Head-Boundary Observation Package GBOB Online Help Hill and others, 2000
DROB Drain Observation Package DROB Online Help Hill and others, 2000
RVOB River Observation Package RVOB Online Help Hill and others, 2000
SWT Subsidence and Aquifer-System Compaction Package for Water-Table Aquifers SWT Online Help Leake and Galloway, 2007
LMT Link to the MT3DMS contaminant-transport model LMT Online Help Zheng and others, 2001
HYDMOD Hydrograph capability HYDMOD Online Help Hanson and Leake, 1999

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Superseded Versions

The following software is not actively supported by the USGS. Software listed below have been categorized as:

  • Superseded: software has been replaced by newer software

The software is provided online for historical reference only, and the pages may contain outdated information or broken links.

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Example USGS Applications of MF-OWHM

Published USGS Reports and Articles Describing an Application of MF-OWHM

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Point of Contact

Support is provided for correcting bugs and clarification of how MODFLOW-OWHM is intended to work. Only limited assistance can be provided for applying MODFLOW-OWHM to specific problems by contacting the point of contact listed below:

Randall T. Hanson
California Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
4165 Spruance Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92101
Attention: MF-OWHM

MODFLOW-OWHM Email List for Updates

To be notified by the Integrated Hydrologic Model Development Team that supports MF-OWHM of updates/new versions, please send an email with the subject ADD to


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Other USGS Groundwater Software

The USGS develops groundwater RSS, water-quality, surface-water, and other water-resources software for use by the USGS in fulfilling its mission. Most of this software is available online for download at no charge.

Disclaimers and Notices

This software has been approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Although the software has been subjected to rigorous review, the USGS reserves the right to update the software as needed pursuant to further analysis and review. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS or the U.S. Government as to the functionality of the software and related material nor shall the fact of release constitute any such warranty. Furthermore, the software is released on condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from its authorized or unauthorized use. Also refer to the USGS Water Resources Software User Rights Notice for complete use, copyright, and distribution information.

Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

See also, USGS policy on linking to non-Federal web sites.

Software License and Purchase Information

This software is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, which is part of the U.S. Government.


This software is freely distributed. There is no fee to download and (or) use this software.


Users do not need a license or permission from the USGS to use this software. Users can download and install as many copies of the software as they need.

Public Domain:

As a work of the United States Government, this USGS product is in the public domain within the United States. You can copy, modify, distribute, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Additionally, USGS waives copyright and related rights in the work worldwide through CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication ( [Link exits USGS]).

Note: Some or all of this information is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of the free Adobe Reader from the Adobe web site. [Link exits USGS] Visit [Link exits USGS] for free tools that allow visually impaired users to read PDF files.

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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 28-Dec-2016 01:46:32 EST