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groundwater-flow model of the Twin Cities metropolitan area

groundwater-flow model of the Twin Cities metropolitan area
Metropolitan Council

large regional model aids in water-supply planning

Most communities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, with the notable exceptions of Minneapolis and St. Paul, use groundwater as their only water supply. Growing demand in the region is expected to increase groundwater use from about 300 million gallons per day to nearly 500 million over the next 30 years.

To assist it in evaluating groundwater use and regional water planning, the Metropolitan Council hired Barr to construct a new groundwater-flow model of the seven-county metropolitan area. The model, constructed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s MODFLOW code, includes all of the major aquifers and aquitards in the region and encompasses approximately 4,500 square miles.

Barr recently completed a major update to the model, now known as Metro Model 3, including expanding its domain to include 11 counties in and around the Twin Cities area. Significant technical changes to the model include adding transient simulation capabilities to account for temporal variations in aquifer stresses and changes in aquifer storage.

Metro Model 3 is available to government and private users at Metropolitan Council's website.