Wood River Valley Groundwater Flow Model


Introduction

The Wood River Valley Groundwater Flow Model Project was initiated to help provide a scientific foundation for the management of aquifers underlying the Wood River Valley. In 2008, the Idaho legislature approved House Bill 428 and House Bill 644 establishing the Statewide Comprehensive Aquifer Planning and Management Program (42-1779) and the Aquifer Planning and Management Fund (42-1780). This legislation authorized the Idaho Water Resource Board to begin comprehensive aquifer management planning (CAMP).


The Aquifer Planning and Management Program is designed to provide the Idaho Water Resource Board and the Idaho Department of Water Resources with the necessary information to develop plans for managing ground and surface water resources into the future. This phase of the program for the Wood River Valley will begin with the technical component of developing a groundwater flow model.


The Idaho Department of Water Resources and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) are partnering to develop a groundwater-flow model of Idaho’s Wood River Valley aquifer system. The project is anticipated to be completed in late 2015.


Purpose and Objectives

The model will be constructed to simulate the effects of climate and human activities on the aquifer system with an emphasis on the interaction of the surface and groundwater system. This work will incorporate the increased knowledge about the aquifer system which has been developed in the past several years. USGS reports can be found at the References tab. USGS staff has been working with local communities and organizations to gather information and analyze the aquifer system. This increased understanding of the groundwater system, described in several technical papers published by USGS, will be the base for the model development.


Groundwater-flow models are developed to represent our understanding of the aquifer system and can be used to manage and plan for the water needs and uses of the region. The Wood River Valley groundwater-flow model will be designed to further the basic understanding of the aquifer system and ultimately to examine effects on the groundwater system and its interaction with the Big Wood River due to changes in water use, recharge, or discharge.


A technical advisory committee will be established to provide the modeling team with input during the model construction.