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MODFLOW-2005 and SWI2 models for assessing groundwater availability scenarios in volcanic aquifers on Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii

Metadata Updated: October 29, 2023

Previously constructed steady-state numerical groundwater-flow models for the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii ( using MODFLOW-2005 with the Seawater Intrusion (SWI2) package, were used to examine the consequences of historical and plausible future withdrawals and changes in recharge. The volcanic aquifers of the Hawaiian Islands supply water to 1.46 million residents, diverse industries, and a large component of the U.S. military in the Pacific. Groundwater also supplies freshwater that supports ecosystems in streams and near the coast. Hawaii’s aquifers are remarkable given their small size, but the islands’ capacity to store fresh groundwater is limited because each island is surrounded by seawater, and saltwater underlies much of the fresh groundwater. The amount of fresh groundwater available for human use from Hawaii’s volcanic aquifers is constrained by the consequences of groundwater withdrawal. Restrictions placed on these consequences can translate to limitations on groundwater availability. Changes in recharge resulting from changes in land cover or climate can alter the effect of withdrawals. Therefore, five scenarios representing current conditions and various historical and projected future groundwater-withdrawal and recharge conditions were simulated using the previously published numerical models. The Current scenario represents conditions in 2010 which were used to calibrate the Kauai, Oahu, and Maui models. This scenario is the baseline to which all other scenarios are compared. Two historical scenarios (No Withdrawal and Predevelopment) represent selected aspects of conditions that existed in 1870, before the first modern well was drilled in 1879; these scenarios were simulated using all three models in this study. Two future scenarios (Future Rainfall and Increased Withdrawal) represent projections of future conditions and were simulated using the Oahu model only. Results of the simulations using the groundwater models of the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui have implications for other islands in Hawaii. Results of the simulations enable quantification of the hydrologic effects of withdrawals and changes in climate, such as water-table depression, saltwater rise, and reduction of natural groundwater discharge to streams, springs, and the ocean. The effects can place limits on groundwater availability. This USGS data release contains all the input and output files for the simulations described in the associated model documentation report (

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:644355fbd34ee8d4ade9d748
Data Last Modified 20230426
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 9dddcbf1-42e5-4a43-a8d4-c03b67c26821
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -159.9197,20.43567,-155.82966,22.39874
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash dc3c42f1102b398fe99f9f0b716bf9ee42b43f11150e7bc72786fe487add52d9
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -159.9197, 20.43567, -159.9197, 22.39874, -155.82966, 22.39874, -155.82966, 20.43567, -159.9197, 20.43567}

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