Groundwater plays a significant role in the vitality of the Great Lakes Basin, supplying water for various sectors. Due to the interconnection of groundwater and surface water features in this region, the groundwater quality can be affected, leading to potential economic, political, health, and social issues for the region. Groundwater resources have received less emphasis, perhaps due to an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. The incomplete characterization of groundwater, especially shallow, near-surface waters in urban centers, is an added source of environmental vulnerability for the Great Lakes Basin. This paper provides an improved understanding of urban groundwater to reduce this vulnerability. Towards that end, two approaches for improved characterization of groundwater in southeast Michigan are employed in this project. In the first approach, we construct a regional groundwater model that encompasses four major watersheds to define the large-scale groundwater features. In the second approach, we adopt a local scale and develop a local urban water budget with subsequent groundwater simulation. The results show the groundwater movement in the two different scales, implying the effect of urban settings on the subsurface resources. Both the regional and local scale models can be used to evaluate and mitigate environmental risks in urban centers.
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