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GroundWater Flooding - DCR/DEP

Innovative groundwater modeling for the state of Massachusetts.


Climate change often evokes fears of extreme heat and drought around the world. However, in Massachusetts, climate models forecast increasing precipitation through 2100. Over the last 50 years groundwater levels have risen across the Commonwealth due primarily to these climate-driven increases in precipitation, and this trend will continue over the coming century. Rising groundwater can cause flooding, threaten subsurface infrastructure and roadways, and kill vegetation, presenting a real and potentially catastrophic economic and environmental threat. This study utilizes a state-wide groundwater flow model to identify regions in Massachusetts most susceptible to groundwater flooding and forecast future groundwater flooding risk. We show that 38% of the land in mainland Massachusetts is currently at risk of groundwater rise impacts and that the risk area may grow 4-8% by 2100.

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