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Comparative Review Integrated Models

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AquaResource was contracted by the Province of Ontario to review Integrated Groundwater/Surface Water Models and provide recommendations on their applicability in the Province.

AquaResource was contracted by the Province of Ontario to review Integrated Groundwater/Surface Water Models and provide recommendations on their applicability in the Province.


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  • 1. Comparative Review of Integrated Groundwater and Surface Water Models
    June 21, 2011
  • 2. Acknowledgements
    • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
    • 3. Mike Garraway
    • 4. Lynne Milford
    • 5. DHI Water and Environment
    • 6. Patrick Delaney
    • 7. Ying Qiao
    • 8. Doug Graham
    • 9. Alberta Innovates
    • 10. Dr. Jon Paul Jones
    • 11. S.S. Papadopulos and Associates
    • 12. Chris Neville
    • 13. AquaResource Inc.
    • 14. David Van Vliet
    • 15. Steven Murray
    • 16. Christian Gabriel
  • Comparative Review of Integrated Groundwater and Surface Water Models
    Prepared by:
    AquaResource Inc.
    DHI Water and Environment
    Alberta Innovates
    S.S. Papadopulos and Associates
    Prepared for:
    The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
    Summary of Report
    • Compare available codes based on theory, numerical methods, and user experience
    • 17. GSFLOW*
    • 18. HydroGeoSphere*
    • 19. MikeSHE**
    • 20. ModHMS
    • 21. Parflow
    • 22. Ontario case studies.
    * Subwatershed 19 (Credit River)
    ** Mill Creek Subwatershed (Grand River)
    • Recommended modelling methods and procedures
    • 23. Release Summer 2011
  • Conjunctive Modelling – Why?
    Conventional surface water or groundwater models don’t always reflect natural systems
    Simplifying assumptions made for either groundwater or surface water portions of model.
    Interpretation and quantification of interaction between surface water and groundwater system difficult.
    The value of conventional models is reflected by the hydrological processes represented by those models
    Traditional methods are not well suited to cumulative impact assessment. Unless physical processes are not well represented, marginal and incremental change prediction is uncertain
  • 24. Conjunctive Models Considered
  • 25. Model Evaluation GSFLOW (USGS)
    Based on well established and accepted modelling codes
    (PRMS + MODFLOW)
    Supported by USGS
    Open source, free
    No dynamic stream routing, no overland flow routing
    Soil water balance and runoff calculations highly empirical
    Daily timesteps
  • 26. Model Evaluation – HydroGeoSphere (HGS) (University of Waterloo)
    Variable finite element mesh resolution, excellent mass balance
    Sophisticated subsurface model:
    3D Richards representation of unsaturated zone.
    Variable saturated groundwater flow as well as
    Limited hydrologic processes (snowmelt, soil water balance, interflow)
    long run times
  • 27. Model Evaluation – MIKE SHE (DHI Water and Environment)
    Highly flexible, full GUI interface
    Empirical and physical representations of hydrologic processes
    Sophisticated post processing
    Reasonable run times
    DHI support
    Uniform finite difference mesh
  • 28. Examples of Model Comparison Criteria
  • 29. Subwatershed 19
    Credit River Watershed
    Mill Creek
    Grand River Watershed
    Case Studies
    Objectives
    Compare models
    Explore and demonstrate benefits of integrated models over traditional approaches
    Develop recommended practices and methods
  • 30. Case Study: Credit Valley Subcatchment 19
  • 31. Case Study: Credit Valley Subcatchment 19
    Headwaters of the Credit River - Approximately 60 km2
    Land use: urban, agriculture, wetlands, aggregate.
    Issues:
    Municipal drinking water supply (groundwater)
    Wastewater assimilation
    Streamflow quality and quantity
    Existing studies:
    Subwatershed Study (CVC)
    Tier Three Water Quantity Risk Assessment (MNR, municipalities)
    Island Lake Water Budget Study
    Existing Models
    HSPF, GAWSER (Surface Water)
    MODFLOW, FEFLOW (Groundwater)
  • 32. Integrated Models Provide Realistic ET Predictions
  • 33. Groundwater Recharge Predictions Influenced by Soils, Vegetation, Topography, Discharge
  • 34. Groundwater Discharge Into Wetlands Simulated Without Boundary Conditions
  • 35. Streamflow Impact Assessment
  • 36. Mill Creek Subwatershed
  • 37. Description of the Subwatershed
    Covers an area of roughly 100 km2 and is situated between the Galt-Paris moraines.
    The headwaters of Mill Creek are located southeast of Guelph, where Mill Creek flows southwest, joining the Grand River in downtown Cambridge (Galt).
    Land cover within Mill Creek is predominantly agriculture, with forests and wetlands comprising the majority of the remaining land area.
    Mill Creek supports cold-water fisheries, rich wetlands, and also has extensive aggregate production facilities within the watershed.
  • 38. Mill Creek Subwatershed Land Cover
  • 39. Calibration – Mike SHE Represents Low Flows Very Well. GW/SW Interactions Critical
  • 40. Variable ET Across Watershed, Influenced by Landuse, Wetlands, Aggregate Extraction
  • 41. Groundwater Discharge Critical Along Streams, Wetlands and Hillslopes
  • 42. Simulated Soil Moisture Reflects Delineated Wetlands
  • 43. Seasonal Soil Moisture Variability in Wetlands
  • 44. Conclusions
    Benefits of Integrated Models over Traditional Models
    Integrating groundwater and surface water models removes traditional assumptions (recharge, boundary conditions)
    Realistic water budgets (ET, Influence of Topography)
    Groundwater / surface water interactions (Wetlands, Hillslopes, Hummocky Areas) better handled
    Physically-based continuous low flow predictions – needed for ecological flow assessments
    Data requirements are similar to traditional approaches
    Limitations
    Computational Time – It can be manageable
    Calibration Time – Reduced with experience
    Urban Systems – Manage technical expectations
    Learning Curve – Training requirements are significant
    Success requires both surface water and groundwater modelling expertise
    Costs are marginally extra than traditional methods but the results are much more meaningful