Groundwater Modeling: New Tools for Decision-Makers

ASPIRED Project has completed a two-week training program on groundwater modeling designed for the representatives of the Ministry of Environment and academic institutions. The training helped the participants to learn and practice sophisticated software tools for groundwater modeling: ArcHydrgoGroundwater (AHGW), GMS and Modflow tools.

To understand the state of the Ararat Valley’s groundwater resources and resilience to changing conditions and external pressures, the ASPIRED Project designed the three-dimensional model and the groundwater flow model of the artesian basin aimed at supporting more informed and data-driven decision making on groundwater resources. The 3D model of the Ararat Artesian Basin presents the hydrogeologic structure and the water bearing potential of the basin, while the groundwater flow model provides data on the water pressure, water availability and balance, water movement directions in the water-bearing layers of the artesian basin. The model can help decision-makers to predict improvement in the pressure or level increases/drops in water bearing layers of the Artesian basin.

During the training participants had the opportunity to exercise 3D modeling using AHGW tools, creating and importing map data files, and creating and calibrating a MODFLOW model. The trainees practiced use of the Ararat Valley groundwater flow model by updating it with suggested new data on monitoring points, water abstraction points, groundwater abstraction and making relevant adjustments.

“During the training we designed a 3D model of three water-bearing layers of the Ararat Valley artesian basin based on the inventory data of 2016. […] In my opinion, the training was highly relevant and effective for the specialists of water sector agencies interested in the creation of similar models. By working with the models, inputting new data, and considering different scenarios, the specialists will be able to make projections on the impact of the groundwater abstraction increase or reduction and the possible positive or negative dynamics of the groundwater resources. I am sure, the application of these models will contribute to a more sustainable management of groundwater resources.” – Harutyun Yeremyan from the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center of the Ministry of Environment shared his feedback at the end of the course.

At the end of the training, participants received a full package of information including the User Manual, the three-dimensional model and groundwater flow model of the Ararat Valley’s artesian basin as well as support data templates and data for simulation of the models. ASPIRED team will further assist participants to activate the modeling software and provide necessary guidance.