The effects of simplifying hydraulic property layering within an unconfined aquifer and the underlying confining unit were assessed. The hydraulic properties of lithologic units within the unconfined aquifer and confining unit were computed by analyzing the aquifer-test data using radial, axisymmetric two-dimensional (2D) flow. Time-varying recharge to the unconfined aquifer and pumping from the confined Upper Floridan aquifer (USA) were simulated using 3D flow. Conceptual flow models were developed by gradually reducing the number of lithologic units in the unconfined aquifer and confining unit by calculating composite hydraulic properties for the simplified lithologic units. Composite hydraulic properties were calculated using either thickness-weighted averages or inverse modeling using regression-based parameter estimation. No significant residuals were simulated when all lithologic units comprising the unconfined aquifer were simulated as one layer. The largest residuals occurred when the unconfined aquifer and confining unit were aggregated into a single layer (quasi-3D), with residuals over 100% for the leakage rates to the confined aquifer and the heads in the confining unit. Residuals increased with contrasts in vertical hydraulic conductivity between the unconfined aquifer and confining unit. Residuals increased when the constant-head boundary at the bottom of the Upper Floridan aquifer was replaced with a no-flow boundary.