Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 21

dams. Large scale systems include bank
infiltration and infiltration basins for
large cities.

What is the source water for MAR?

Figure 1: Managed Aquifer Recharge Portal homepage.

4. Showcase the economic performance
of MAR
At present it is not easy to get quick
insights into the a priori cost and benefits
(economic performance) of MAR, and
this hampers implementations. Economic
analysis of individual demonstration
projects exists, but comprehensive overviews
of generic methods for cost estimates of
development and operation of different MAR
techniques under different conditions is
still lacking. Developing this is challenging
because of the site-specific factors and the
difficulty to monetize multiple benefits of
MAR. However, this is important to develop,
as decisions to invest in MAR will often
be taken on this combination of multiple
economic, social and environmental benefits.
5. Provide guidance via policies and
regulatory frameworks
In many countries, guidelines and
policies to ensure safe and sustainable
development and operation of MAR
schemes are still lacking or inadequate. In
some settings, local action by motivated
communities has been highly effective
in managing groundwater storage and
increasing farm incomes, and they have
run ahead of state and national policies.
Successful implementation of MAR should
be facilitated via a regulatory framework
that includes protection of public health
and the environment. Developing
guidelines and policy based on practical
experiences will also facilitate successful
implementation elsewhere.

MAR insights from a
global perspective
Analysis of the MAR portal
has provided insights on historical

developments, global patterns on main
objectives of MAR schemes and the most
widely used MAR techniques.

Where is managed aquifer
recharge implemented?
MAR is a well-established technology
that has been implemented over the past
two centuries. Over the years, the use of all
different types of MAR has grown on all
continents. Examples of successful projects
can be found throughout the world within
different climatic, geographic and socioeconomic conditions, in both rural and
urban areas.
Managed Aquifer Recharge is
implemented to meet various objectives:
to maximize natural storage (replenish
depleted aquifers or to increase freshwater
resources), improve water quality, prevent
salt water intrusion or sustain ecosystems.
The main objective of MAR schemes is
to maximize natural storage (38% of the
cases). Only in Europe is it primarily
used to improve water quality (73% of the
cases). The differences per region of the
world may be explained by a combination
of factors like differences in demand,
financial and technical capacity, culture
and political environment.

Which types of MAR techniques
are most widely used?
Managed aquifer recharge techniques
have been classified into 15 different
categories. The most applied MAR
techniques are infiltration basins and
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR).
Together they make up almost 50% of all
MAR cases. Most recharge techniques
for rural water supply are small scale,
such as shallow well-infiltration and sand

A variety of source water can
be used, including rainwater, river
water, desalinated seawater, reclaimed
wastewater and even groundwater from
other aquifers. The most used source
water is river water (>50% of the cases).
The use of reclaimed wastewater is still
underdeveloped and deserves more
attention as there is a huge potential.

What is the final use of the
recharged water?
The water resulting from a MAR
scheme can be categorized according to
its use: domestic, agricultural, industrial
and environmental. Global surveys show
that in most cases, the water is mainly used
for domestic (drinking water) purposes.
However, in Asia and South America, the
end-use is predominately for agriculture,
respectively 53% and 58% of the cases.
Although MAR has been practiced
for hundreds of years, it still has not
been fully accepted into the water
management toolbox. Reasons for this lack
of acceptance vary but are likely related
to general ignorance about groundwater
and concern about injecting nonnative
water into aquifers, especially if they
supply drinking water. But the times are
changing, and with climate change already
manifesting its many facets we are sure to
see more MAR projects to meet increasing
water demands. ■
Nienke Ansems is a hydrogeologist at the
International Groundwater Centre (IGRAC).
Her experience includes managed aquifer
recharge, multidisciplinary groundwater
assessments and development of online
tools to improve the availability and
accessibility of groundwater related
information and knowledge for water
experts, decision makers and public.
Contact: nienke.ansems@un-igrac.org.

References

Dillon, P. et al. 2010. Managed aquifer recharge:
rediscovering nature as a leading-edge technology.
Water Science Technology 62:2338-2345
Sprenger, C. et al. 2017. Inventory of managed
aquifer recharge sites in Europe: historical development,
current situation and perspectives. Hydrogeology
Journal, 1-14

Volume 19 * Number 5 www.awra.org * 21


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017

President’s Message
Growing Up…with Managed Aquifer Recharge
Aquifer Storage and Recovery as Means to
The Regulatory Environment of Managed
The ASCE-EWRI Standard Guidelines
Managed Aquifer Recharge:
Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Global Perspective
What’s Up with Water? Sisyphus, Heraclitus and WOTUS
The New Economics of Water: Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Bay Delta Could Reverse Erosion
Domestic Well Aquifer Storage and Recovery Using Seasonal Springs
Philosophy and Ethics: The Rio Grande and the Ganges Rivers: How Human ‘Success’ is Choking the Life out of Two Great River-Spirits
ASR: Aquifer Storage Rescues a Small Water Supply District
Putting Aquifers to Work: MAR Applications in Nutrient Removal
Summer Conference Recap
Harvesting Glacial Meltwater with Managed Aquifer Recharge
AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
In Memoriam: Peter E. Black
Herbert Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017-2018 Announced
August JAWRA Highlights
2017-2018 Editorial Calendar
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - intro
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover1
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover2
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 3
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 4
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - President’s Message
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Growing Up…with Managed Aquifer Recharge
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 7
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Aquifer Storage and Recovery as Means to
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 9
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 10
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The Regulatory Environment of Managed
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 12
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 13
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The ASCE-EWRI Standard Guidelines
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 15
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 16
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Managed Aquifer Recharge:
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 18
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 19
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Global Perspective
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 21
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 22
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 23
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 24
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 25
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 26
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 27
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 28
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 29
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - What’s Up with Water? Sisyphus, Heraclitus and WOTUS
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 31
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The New Economics of Water: Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Bay Delta Could Reverse Erosion
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Philosophy and Ethics: The Rio Grande and the Ganges Rivers: How Human ‘Success’ is Choking the Life out of Two Great River-Spirits
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - ASR: Aquifer Storage Rescues a Small Water Supply District
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 35
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Summer Conference Recap
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 37
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - In Memoriam: Peter E. Black
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Herbert Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017-2018 Announced
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 41
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 2017-2018 Editorial Calendar
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover3
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover4
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