Advanced science.  Applied technology.

Groundwater and Surface Water Analysis and Modeling


Approximately one-third of the Earth's human population relies on groundwater for its water supply. Groundwater and surface water resources are coming under increasing stress in terms of quantity and quality because of global population growth and economic development.

Surface Water Analysis

Ground and surface water resources are inter-related through water cycles and aquifers. SwRI conducts a variety of studies that help government and industry clients understand various impacts to surface water, including pumping of groundwater for agriculture and oil & gas operations. This helps prepare for long-term water needs for population centers and the agriculture industry.

Groundwater Resource Management

Competition for access to and use of groundwater because of local, regional, and international growth is increasing the demand for effective groundwater management practices. In addition, increased recognition of the interrelationship between groundwater and surface water is placing new demands on total water resource management strategies.

SwRI geoscientists develop and apply numerical models to improve characteristics of aquifers and better manage groundwater resources. The Geosciences and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) provides stakeholders with a resource of expertise in:

  • Groundwater exploration
  • Groundwater resource evaluation
  • Aquifer characterization and development
  • Groundwater quality evaluation and remediation

Groundwater Resource Technology

Advanced data processing and analysis techniques are used to extract hydrologic and land use information from remote sensing data. SwRI staff includes scientists and engineers with expertise and applied experience in:

  • Groundwater exploration using geologic analysis and geophysical testing
  • Groundwater resource evaluation through hydrologic analysis of local and regional recharge processes, and groundwater utilization
  • Application of remote sensing and geographical information systems to quantify sources of groundwater recharge and depletion, and pollution sources
  • Application of geologic framework models for analysis of geologic controls on aquifer properties
  • Aquifer testing and numerical simulation of groundwater flow and contaminant transport
  • Development of advanced mathematical models, such as for groundwater flow through discrete karstic conduits or colloidal transport
  • Aquifer vulnerability and risk assessment using flow, transport, and geochemical models

Groundwater resource analysis services are supported in the following areas:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Environmental site assessment
  • Failure analysis