Research into groundwater resources looks at such practical questions
as how much water can be pumped from an aquifer, how much recharge
is there, and how much water will be left in 50 years. Researchers
answer such questions via numerical modeling, original field research,
and data collection and analysis. Numerical or computer models become
the tool-of-choice for making long-term water resource predictions.
Field studies help to document recharge rates and flow paths of groundwater
in the recharge zone. Collection and analysis of data are required
to better understand all aspects of an aquifer including the geologic
distribution of hydraulic properties (hydraulic conductivity and storativity),
recharge and discharge, exchange or interaction of groundwater and
surface water, and the movement of groundwater across the boundaries
of an aquifer.