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Environmental Modeling Community of Practice

Wellhead Analytic Element Model (WhAEM)

The U.S. EPA's Wellhead Analytic Element Model, WhAEM for Windows, is a groundwater geohydrology computer program. WhAEM is a ground-water flow model designed to facilitate capture zone delineation and protection area mapping in support of the Wellhead Protection Programs (WHPP) and Source Water Assessment Planning (SWAP) for public water supplies in the United States. WhAEM provides an interactive computer environment for design of protection areas based on radius methods, well in uniform flow solutions, and geohydrologic modeling methods. Protection areas are designed and overlaid upon US Geological Survey Digital Line Graph (DLG) or other electronic base maps. Base maps for a project can be selected from a graphical index map for the State. Geohydrologic modeling for steady pumping wells, including the influence of hydrological boundaries, such as rivers, recharge, and no-flow contacts, is accomplished using the analytic element method.

Current Version: 3.3.2
Release Date: June 2018
Development Status: General Release
Development Information: Release Notes - changes and known deficiencies
Operating System: Windows 7, 8, 10
Development Language: User Interface: Visual Basic 6, Map Objects LT2; Solver: Fortran
Intended Audience: Water supply engineer, Hydrogeologist, Environmental Scientist
Key Words: groundwater hydrology, model, wellhead protection, capture zones
Related Web Sites: Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling (CEMM)
Text Files (ASCII Format)
File Name File Description
WhAEM Abstract(1 pg, 2 K) Summary of project.
WhAEM Readme(1 pg, 8 K) Important installation and usage information.
WhAEM license(1 pg, 46 K) EPA open source license for use
Download Files
File Type /
File Name /
Format /
File Description
Install /
WHAEM 332 Install(1 pg, 22 MB) /
InstallShield Executable /
22 MB.
Setup file for version 3.3.2 of the WhAEM system. Use this for new installs. See README.TXT for important installation instructions.
Document / Recommended Quick Start Guide / Adobe Acrobat / 723KB Quick start guide to installing and trying out WhAEM. (PDF, 11pp., 723KB, about PDF)
Document /
User's Manual /
Adobe Acrobat /
12.2 MB
The complete user's manual, Working with WhAEM April 2018, (PDF, 90 pp., 12.2 MB, about PDF).
Data /
WhAEM Tutorial Data Files(36 pp, 146 MB) /
Self-extracting Zip /
146 MB
Map files required by the tutorial and case study contained within the user's manual.
Data /
WhAEM Binary Base Maps /
 Zip /

Binary base map (BBM) files are vectorized graphics derived from USGS DLG files. BBM files can be imported directly into WhAEM software to serve as the geographic basis for groundwater modeling.

Note that the WhAEM Binary Base Maps (BBM)s do not automatically unzip while using Windows Explorer. This is caused by an older zip program that is not 64-bit compatible. Unzip the BBM files manually by right clicking on the file and extracting the files using Winzip or 7-zip. Contact CEAM help desk if you need your section of BBMs recreated as 64-bit compatible zip files.

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