Geochemistry has contributed significantly to the understanding of ground-water systems over the last 50 years. Historic advances include development of the hydrochemical facies concept, application of equilibrium theory, investigation of redox processes, and radiocarbon dating. Other hydrochemical concepts, tools, and techniques have helped elucidate mechanisms of flow and transport in ground-water systems, and have helped unlock an archive of paleoenvironmental information. Hydrochemical and isotopic information can be used to interpret the origin and mode of ground-water recharge, refine estimates of time scales of recharge and ground-water flow, decipher reactive processes, provide paleohydrological information, and calibrate ground-water flow models. Progress needs to be made in obtaining representative samples. Improvements are needed in the interpretation of the information obtained, and in the construction and interpretation of numerical models utilizing hydrochemical data. The best approach will ensure an optimized iterative process between field data collection and analysis, interpretation, and the application of forward, inverse, and statistical modeling tools. Advances are anticipated from microbiological investigations, the characterization of natural organics, isotopic fingerprinting, applications of dissolved gas measurements, and the fields of reaction kinetics and coupled processes. A thermodynamic perspective is offered that could facilitate the comparison and understanding of the multiple physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting ground-water systems.