Freshwater <=> Clean Energy
Dr. Hoaglund has spent most of his career researching and applying groundwater models for the management of groundwater resources. That is why you need his expertise to solve your groundwater management problem. He provides the following resources and examples for understanding both the power and limitations of modeling.
Groundwater modeling is an invaluable tool for the management of groundwater both in terms of understanding past occurrences as well as predicting future occurrences within the groundwater field. The understandings realized and predictions obtained include the effects of multiple pumping wells, the availability of groundwater resources including water and natural chemical compounds, and the fate-and-transport of contaminants, through time.
Groundwater modeling is a synthesis (combining together) of disparate (diverse types of) data. As such, it has a mostly unfair reputation for being expensive, with much of the perceived cost actually being the cost of data acquisition and management. Models need to be calibrated with data. To understand any groundwater problem, even without modeling, the data usually need to be compiled anyway.
Groundwater modeling can range from very simple, inexpensive “back of the envelope” calculations to very complex, arguably expensive analyses that may include simulations on the computer. A groundwater model is a mathematical model constructed with a purpose in mind. Thus the question of its purpose must be answered before beginning to avoid misunderstandings and cost overruns. The mathematics can be simplified, the solution made less expensive, the more assumptions are allowed to be made. The industry phrase for this is KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.
Groundwater modeling is an exercise in deductive reasoning. It starts with an assumption of truth--namely the physics of groundwater flow and the existing field conditions for that flow--and derives its conclusions mathematically. As the assumptions of truth change, so can the conclusions. Even professionals within the industry will joke about modeling, “What do you want the answer to be?”
That is why groundwater modeling must be conducted by a seasoned professional like Dr. Hoaglund who understands and can defend both the initial assumptions and the limitations of its conclusions. We tend to think deduction is the most powerful form of reasoning. Mathematics entices us to believe its predictions are infallible. After all, we landed the astronauts on the Moon with decimal point precisions using models. But the most powerful form of reasoning scientifically is actually induction, the reasoning of general conclusions from particular facts (i.e. data). And facts overrule models.
On the one hand, it only took one datum to forever disprove Ptolemy’s model of the Earth-centered solar system--a model that held up and was used for over 1,000 years—namely Galileo’s observation of the phases of Venus. On the other hand, to quote Carl Sagan, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The phases of Venus are extraordinary. A single fact not in alignment with a groundwater model may or may not be. A groundwater model will never precisely reproduce all the data, but it can make reasonable conclusions with ordinary data. If extraordinary data are found, we can certainly adjust the model, or perhaps even share in some Nobel Prize money.
|Measured 1-inch bar ***
||Measured Scale***||Calculated Scale*||Calculated Map Resolution**||Calculated and Listed*||Map resolution**|
|Zoom||Zoom||14" screen, 112 dpi
||14" screen, 112 dpi||14" screen, 112 dpi||39.8 lat||0 lat, 96 dpi||0 lat|
|Level||Level|| 39.8 lat
||39.8 lat||39.8 lat||meters / pixel||Equatorial Scales||meters / pixel|
|21||20|| 40 ft
|20||19|| 84.21 ft
|19||18|| 168 ft
|18||17|| 337 ft
|17||16|| 667 ft
|16||15|| 1,333 ft
|15||14|| 2,667 ft
|14||13|| 1 mi
|13||12|| 2 mi
|12||11|| 4 mi
|11||10|| 8 mi
|10||9|| 16 mi
|9||8|| 32 mi
|8||7|| 67 mi
|7||6|| 133 mi
|6||5|| 267 mi
|5||4|| 533 mi
|4||3|| 1067 mi