The Groundwater Technical Committee encompasses fields within hydrology that deal with subsurface water, including physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects. The science and its applications are diverse and include the quantity and quality of groundwater supply and its sustainability, maintenance of ecosystems, geologic processes such as heat flow, oil and gas production, and geochemical cycles. Groundwater is a vital, integral part of the hydrologic cycle and significantly affects water and solute dynamics in the terrestrial environment. We therefore take a holistic perspective to understand how groundwater interacts with surface waters, soils and the atmosphere to shape water and solute movement and fate in landscapes. The many connections between groundwater and other aspects of hydrologic and environmental systems promote interdisciplinary interactions with other AGU sections within Hydrology, including Ecohydrology, Hydrogeophysics, Water Quality, Surface Water, and Water and Society. The research methods deal with the special challenge of access to the subsurface and an always-incomplete knowledge of its properties. As such, we are closely linked to the Hydrologic Uncertainty Section. We also interact across AGU disciplines, with linkages to Biogeosciences, Global Environmental Change, Cryosphere, and Atmospheric Sciences.
Vital Open Questions in Groundwater
How can we improve the capability of groundwater flow and (reactive) transport models, including characterizing ubiquitous heterogeneity and quantifying uncertainty, moving beyond empirical to more mechanistic models, and taking advantage of computational advances?
What will be the impacts of climate change and human activities on groundwater into the future, including extreme events, sea-level rise, and considering frontier areas such as offshore and the arctic?
How can we synthesize processes across diverse spatial and temporal scales and through the groundwater-surface water continuum to understand large-scale groundwater systems and the role of groundwater in shaping and modulating water and solute fluxes from catchments?