Conceptual Approach to Groundwater Modeling

Ararat Valley and its Basin

On June 6, ASPIRED presented the Ararat Valley groundwater model with the specialists of the Ministry of Nature Protection. The objective of the groundwater modeling is to provide decision support tools on the Ararat Valley groundwater basin, aimed at ensuring efficient management, improving monitoring and control mechanisms over the consumption of the groundwater resources. It’s also an important instrument to assist in planning the long-term demand for water and developing the groundwater resource protection policies.

The groundwater modeling task involves the following steps:

  • Ararat Valley groundwater basin 3D model construction, with the hydrogeologic data of existing wells in the Ararat Valley (stratification, geological structure of rocks, age, etc.)
  • Determination of the deep flows in the groundwater basin (feeding flows),  i.e. the amount of water feeding the artesian basin through precipitation and infiltration,
  • Identification of water horizons and the volume of water
  • Design of the groundwater flow digital model, including identification of flow directions

The modeling is carried out in ArcGIS environment, with the use of Arc Hydro Groundwater (AHGW), Groundwater Modeling System (GMS) և MODFLOW software tools.

At the initial stage, the ASPIRED team developed the conceptual model of the Ararat Valley artesian basin which introduces the purpose of modeling, major steps involved, the methodologies, data sets and tools applied as well as expected outcome. The model will cover the Ararat Valley artesian basin within the borders of Armenia up to 900 m altitude. Ararat Valley is one of the priority regions of Armenia due to its agricultural importance, economic value, the population density and the groundwater abstraction rates. The region accounts for nearly 50% of the groundwater abstraction throughout the country.

The development of the groundwater model of the Ararat Valley is indispensable without support of the Ministry of Nature Protection, particularly the experts of the Environmental Monitoring and Information Center (EMIC). During the meeting, both the ASPIRED and EMIC representatives emphasized the importance of the team work in the accomplishment of this challenging task given the size and the geological complexity of the Ararat Valley’s artesian basin.