Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (18 November 2022) | Viewed by 25367

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Tragsa R&D, UPM Lecturer, WB Consulter, Co-Chair IAH MAR Commission, Madrid, Spain
Interests: IWRM; hydrogeology; technical solutions for water management; design and construction criteria
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Research Group INOWAS, Department of Hydrosciences, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Interests: soil aquifer treatment (SAT); managed aquifer recharge (MAR)

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Guest Editor
School of Engineering, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Interests: groundwater hydrology; surface water hydraulics; geotechnical engineering; dam safety

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Guest Editor
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Jacksonville District, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Interests: groundwater geochemistry; geochemical modeling; groundwater quality; water-rock interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) or the intentional recharge of groundwater aquifers has become a fundamental technique in the global water management effort for integration, the restoration of declining aquifers, sustainability, and collective improvement. Traditionally it has not been considered to the extent that it deserves due to a lack of awareness, inadequate knowledge of aquifers, the immature perception of risk, and incomplete policies for integrated water management, including linking MAR with demand management.

MAR is part of the integrated and collective approach to water management and can also achieve much towards solving the innumerable local water problems, including multilevel governance schemes.

How the world will develop resilient groundwater supplies in the face of continued growth, climate change, and endangered water security includes MAR as a first-line technology; the time is now.

This Special Issue strives to make patent the effectiveness, benefits, constraints, and applicability of MAR, together with its supporting scientific advances, for a wide variety of situations that have global relevance. It also provides an opportunity for including additional, highly relevant, and timely MAR-related papers submitted to J Water.

The topics include MAR and:

  1. MAR and sustainable groundwater management;
  2. MAR engineering and design;
  3. MAR economics/water markets;
  4. MAR and integrated water resources;
  5. MAR operations and maintenance;
  6. MAR modeling;
  7. MAR and the environment;
  8. MAR in the developing world;
  9. MAR education and outreach;
  10. MAR emerging contaminants and water quality;
  11. MAR and climate change;
  12. MAR science for applied solutions;
  13. Emerging MAR leaders;
  14. Technical advances in MAR;
  15. MAR 2050—water resiliency in our changing climate;
  16. Facing climate change’s adverse impacts;
  17. Adaptation to climate change.

Dr. Enrique Fernández Escalante
Dr. Catalin Stefan
Dr. Christopher J. Brown
Dr. June Mirecki
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • groundwater replenishment
  • water-quality improvement
  • water security and risk
  • policy, economics, and society
  • groundwater biogeochemical processes
  • water security

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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12 pages, 891 KiB  
Editorial
Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Key to Sustainability
by Enrique Fernández Escalante, Catalin Stefan, Christopher J. Brown and Adam Hutchinson
Water 2023, 15(23), 4183; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15234183 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1131
Abstract
“Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Key to Sustainability” is the title of the fourth Special Issue presented by the journal Water (MDPI), dedicated to the 11th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR 11) that was held between 11 and 15 April 2022 in [...] Read more.
“Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Key to Sustainability” is the title of the fourth Special Issue presented by the journal Water (MDPI), dedicated to the 11th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR 11) that was held between 11 and 15 April 2022 in Long Beach, California, USA [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial

28 pages, 5951 KiB  
Article
Integrated Fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS Model for Assessing Managed Aquifer Recharge Potential in a Hot Dry Region: A Case Study of Djibouti at a Country Scale
by Rachid Mohamed Mouhoumed, Ömer Ekmekcioğlu, Eyyup Ensar Başakın and Mehmet Özger
Water 2023, 15(14), 2534; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15142534 - 10 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1549
Abstract
Given the prevailing arid climate and rapid population growth, groundwater resources face unprecedented challenges globally, including depletion, seawater intrusion, and contamination. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) technologies have emerged as valuable solutions to address these pressing issues. However, identifying suitable regions for MAR activities [...] Read more.
Given the prevailing arid climate and rapid population growth, groundwater resources face unprecedented challenges globally, including depletion, seawater intrusion, and contamination. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) technologies have emerged as valuable solutions to address these pressing issues. However, identifying suitable regions for MAR activities is a complex task, particularly at the country level. Therefore, in this study, we propose a robust approach that combines the fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and the technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) to delineate suitable sites for MAR structures. The proposed model was applied to Djibouti, a hot, dry, and water-stressed country. We identified a set of nine decision criteria and conducted a pairwise comparison survey to determine their relative importance. Additionally, the TOPSIS method was employed to integrate the decision layers and prioritize the study area. The results highlight the significance of rainfall, the slope, and the NDVI as the most influential decision parameters, while the drainage density has the least impact. A suitability analysis reveals that 16.38%, 17.96%, and 30.41% of the country have a very high, high, and moderate potential for MAR activities, respectively. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis demonstrates the stability of the proposed model, affirming the usefulness of the generated suitability map. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability)
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23 pages, 4587 KiB  
Article
Integration of Managed Aquifer Recharge into the Water Supply System in the Algarve Region, Portugal
by Kath Standen, Luís Costa, Rui Hugman and José Paulo Monteiro
Water 2023, 15(12), 2286; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15122286 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1928
Abstract
The Algarve region of Portugal is experiencing severe water scarcity with existing water supplies insufficient to meet demand, with limited resilience to drought. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) can provide intermediate storage and bridge the gap between water availability and demand, with success depending [...] Read more.
The Algarve region of Portugal is experiencing severe water scarcity with existing water supplies insufficient to meet demand, with limited resilience to drought. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) can provide intermediate storage and bridge the gap between water availability and demand, with success depending on the water available and the aquifer capacity to accept and store the water. We present the results of a regional study quantifying both these aspects to estimate the regional potential for MAR. Our results demonstrate that MAR can comprise 10% of the total water demand of the region (24 Mm3/yr) using water that is not otherwise captured, with quality that meets the requirements of the Groundwater Directive. MAR can replace 15 Mm3/yr of surface water used in the public irrigation perimeters and 9 Mm3/yr can be used to develop and maintain a strategic groundwater resource in the aquifers of the Central Algarve. Although climate change is predicted to result in an 8–13% decrease in MAR recharge, this can be addressed by incrementally increasing MAR design capacity. MAR has similar water resource benefits to the planned major infrastructure projects (desalination and River Guadiana abstraction), with reduced environmental impacts and lower costs than almost all feasible alternatives. We conclude that MAR is an important measure to increase water supply security and drought resilience in the Algarve region. Full article
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27 pages, 8216 KiB  
Article
The Significance of Groundwater Table Inclination for Nature-Based Replenishment of Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems by Managed Aquifer Recharge
by Zsóka Szabó, Márk Szijártó, Ádám Tóth and Judit Mádl-Szőnyi
Water 2023, 15(6), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061077 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is an increasingly popular technique; however, the significance of groundwater flow dynamics is rarely examined in detail regarding MAR systems. In general, a high hydraulic gradient is not favoured for MAR implementation, as it causes higher water loss and [...] Read more.
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is an increasingly popular technique; however, the significance of groundwater flow dynamics is rarely examined in detail regarding MAR systems. In general, a high hydraulic gradient is not favoured for MAR implementation, as it causes higher water loss and mixing of recharge water with native groundwater. However, during groundwater-dependent ecosystem (GDE) rehabilitation, these hydraulic gradient-driven flow processes can be taken advantage of. The aim of this research is to test this hypothesis by evaluating the effect of groundwater table inclination, topography, and other local characteristics on MAR efficiency from the perspective of GDE restoration. MAR efficiency was examined from recharge to discharge area in a simple half-basin based on theoretical flow simulations, using GeoStudio SEEP/W software. Different scenarios were compared to analyse the groundwater level increase and the infiltrated water volumes and to assess the efficiency of MAR based on these parameters in each scenario. The theoretical results were applied to a close-to-real situation of Lake Kondor, a GDE of the Danube-Tisza Interfluve (Hungary), which dried up in the past decades due to groundwater decline in the area. Based on the results, initial hydraulic head difference, model length, and hydraulic conductivity are the most critical parameters regarding water level increase at the discharge area. The water amount needed for increasing the water table is mainly influenced by the thickness of the unsaturated zone and the material properties of the aquifer. The findings can help better understand MAR efficiency in light of local groundwater flow processes and contribute to optimising MAR systems. The results of the study suggest that, if water is infiltrated at the local recharge area, the water table will also increase at the corresponding discharge area, which positively effects the connected GDEs. This approach can serve as a nature-based solution (NBS) to sustain sensitive ecosystems in changing climatic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability)
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28 pages, 7941 KiB  
Article
Multi-Annual Dynamics of a Coastal Groundwater System with Soil-Aquifer Treatment and Its Impact on the Fate of Trace Organic Compounds
by Quentin Guillemoto, Géraldine Picot-Colbeaux, Danièle Valdes, Nicolas Devau, Charlotte Thierion, Déborah Idier, Frédéric A. Mathurin, Marie Pettenati, Jean-Marie Mouchel and Wolfram Kloppmann
Water 2023, 15(5), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15050934 - 28 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1426
Abstract
The combination of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) with soil-aquifer treatment (SAT) has clear advantages for the future sustainable quality and quantity management of groundwater, especially when using treated wastewater. We built a Marthe flow and transport model of an MAR–SAT system located in [...] Read more.
The combination of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) with soil-aquifer treatment (SAT) has clear advantages for the future sustainable quality and quantity management of groundwater, especially when using treated wastewater. We built a Marthe flow and transport model of an MAR–SAT system located in a near-shore sand aquifer, for quantifying the influence of environmental factors (climate, tides, and operational conditions) on the coastal hydrosystem with regard to the fate of trace organic compounds (TrOCs). The simulations show the impact of these factors on flow rates and dilution, and thus, on the potential reactivity of TrOCs. The dilution of secondary treated wastewater (STWW) is variable, depending on the operations (feeding from infiltration ponds) and on shore proximity (dilution by saltwater). We show that, close to the ponds and during infiltration, the attenuation of TrOC concentrations can be explained by reactivity. At the natural outlet of the aquifer, the simulated average residence times ranged from about 70 to 500 days, depending upon seasonal dynamics. It is important to study TrOCs at site scale in order to anticipate the effect of natural variations on the SAT and on the fate of TrOCs. Full article
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16 pages, 1181 KiB  
Article
On Lessons from Water Recharge Projects in Mexico: Science-Policy Collaboration and Stakeholder Participation
by Mary-Belle Cruz Ayala, José R. Soto and Margaret O. Wilder
Water 2023, 15(1), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010106 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1450
Abstract
Analyzing collaborative practices among water governance institutions is key to generating timely information for stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers -as these are rethinking their goals and network structures to find the most productive avenues for collective work. This study draws on existing collaboration theories [...] Read more.
Analyzing collaborative practices among water governance institutions is key to generating timely information for stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers -as these are rethinking their goals and network structures to find the most productive avenues for collective work. This study draws on existing collaboration theories to characterize and analyze science-policy interactions between researchers, water managers, non-governmental organizations, and consultants who have participated or currently participate in water management and recharge projects in Mexico. We sampled 70 people that had worked or are working on water recharge projects in eight Mexican states in three broad regions: Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Sonora (northern); Estado de Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Mexico City (central); and Oaxaca (southern). Participants represented research institutions, non-governmental organizations, universities, federal, state, and municipal governments, and consultants. The data were collected using a mixed-methods approach (i.e., semi-structured interviews; online surveys). We identified science-policy interactions between researchers, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations critical to effectively developing and implementing water recharge projects. Our results find that trust and stakeholder participation are the most critical elements for building collaborative relationships. Finding ways to supersede structural challenges and promote science-policy collaboration among sectors and interagency with water management responsibilities will help achieve environmental and policy goals and increase water recharge development across Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability)
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22 pages, 4774 KiB  
Article
Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Low-Regret Measure for Climate Change Adaptation: Insights from Los Arenales, Spain
by Jose David Henao Casas, Enrique Fernández Escalante, Rodrigo Calero Gil and Francisco Ayuga
Water 2022, 14(22), 3703; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223703 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3861
Abstract
In view of heightened climate change (CC), adaptation strategies are imperative to diminish the impacts on social and environmental assets. Two approaches are commonly used to formulate adaptation measures, namely bottom-up and top-down, each with inherited limitations. A sound bridge between both approaches [...] Read more.
In view of heightened climate change (CC), adaptation strategies are imperative to diminish the impacts on social and environmental assets. Two approaches are commonly used to formulate adaptation measures, namely bottom-up and top-down, each with inherited limitations. A sound bridge between both approaches is low-regret adaptive measures, which result in win-win scenarios, as they provide solutions to current pressures and contribute to building CC adaptive capacity. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is a term that includes a series of techniques that enhance groundwater storage for later use or environmental purposes. MAR is often mentioned in the literature as a CC adaptation measure. Nonetheless, few examples explicitly prove this point. We show through the Los Arenales MAR systems (Central Spain) that MAR is a low-regret CC adaptive measure. We evaluate a series of social and environmental challenges that MAR systems contribute to solving, as well as their attributes that diminish the expected impacts of CC in the study area. MAR in the Los Arenales groundwater body has resulted in an overall increase in groundwater levels; a reduction in groundwater pumping energy and costs and CO2 emissions; restoration of a surface water body; improvement in rural population indexes; and enhanced groundwater demand control and CC adaptive capacity through irrigation communities. To cope with CC, the Los Arenales MAR systems can be operated even if decreasing streamflow precludes the use of river water surpluses; they provide surface storage volume to mitigate flooding; and they decrease the impacts of droughts and water scarcity. This research proves that MAR is a water management tool capable of providing solutions to several pressures simultaneously in the present and future, an attribute particularly useful when dealing with adaptation gaps in developing countries, rural areas, or regions lacking long-term climatic data. Full article
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23 pages, 6230 KiB  
Article
Monitored and Intentional Recharge (MIR): A Model for Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Guideline and Regulation Formulation
by Enrique Fernández Escalante, José David Henao Casas, Jon San Sebastián Sauto and Rodrigo Calero Gil
Water 2022, 14(21), 3405; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14213405 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2542
Abstract
Guidelines and regulatory frameworks for conducting managed aquifer recharge (MAR) are scarce worldwide compared to the countries where MAR projects operate. At the same time, guidelines and regulations are crucial to implementing MAR activities safely, respecting human health and the environment, and guaranteeing [...] Read more.
Guidelines and regulatory frameworks for conducting managed aquifer recharge (MAR) are scarce worldwide compared to the countries where MAR projects operate. At the same time, guidelines and regulations are crucial to implementing MAR activities safely, respecting human health and the environment, and guaranteeing the sustainability of the intentional recharge. The present study aims to provide a conceptual model comprising the minimum elements to consider when drafting guiding and normative MAR documents. To this end, aspects discussed in nine guidelines were evaluated through a score that allowed their significance to be assessed. The authors also reviewed 22 regulations, guidelines, or MAR site operation rules to construct the monitored and intentional recharge (MIR) conceptual model. This effort was enhanced by active participation in the real drafting of two national regulating documents for MAR. The evaluation of aspects in the documents showed the importance of water reuse and risk and impact assessment. The MIR conceptual model comprises nine blocks that summarize the most important aspects to consider. This conceptual model, which guides MAR regulations in two countries, has great potential for application in different sites under diverse contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability)
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20 pages, 945 KiB  
Article
Benefits and Costs of Managed Aquifer Recharge: Further Evidence
by Andrew Ross
Water 2022, 14(20), 3257; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14203257 - 15 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3540
Abstract
Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) provides an integrated solution that allows aquifer storage to complement surface water storage. Cost–benefit analysis provides a systematic method for comparing alternative water infrastructure options. When market valuations of water infrastructure are unavailable, levelised cost is a widely accepted [...] Read more.
Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) provides an integrated solution that allows aquifer storage to complement surface water storage. Cost–benefit analysis provides a systematic method for comparing alternative water infrastructure options. When market valuations of water infrastructure are unavailable, levelised cost is a widely accepted method of comparing MAR with alternative solutions. Benefits of MAR can be estimated by the cost of the cheapest alternative source of supply or the value of production using MAR. This article presents quantitative analysis of levelised costs and benefit cost ratios of 21 MAR schemes from 15 countries, and qualitative assessment of additional social and environmental benefits. MAR schemes recharging aquifers with natural water using infiltration basins or riverbank filtration are relatively cheap with high BCRs. Schemes using recycled water and/or requiring wells with substantial drilling infrastructure and or water treatment are more expensive, while offering positive BCRs. Most MAR schemes have positive or neutral effects on aquifer storage and condition, water quality, and environmental flows. Energy requirements are competitive with alternatives. This paper demonstrates strong returns to investment in the reported MAR schemes. MAR provides valuable social benefits and contributes to sustaining groundwater resources where extraction is managed. Full article
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24 pages, 5348 KiB  
Article
Hydrologic and Cost–Benefit Analysis of Multiple Check Dams in Catchments of Ephemeral Streams, Rajasthan, India
by Yogita Dashora, David Cresswell, Peter Dillon, Basant Maheshwari, Richard Clark, Prahlad Soni and Pradeep Kumar Singh
Water 2022, 14(15), 2378; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152378 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1951
Abstract
Investment in the small-scale enhancement of groundwater recharge through check dams and other recharge structures in rural India is on the order of USD 1 billion/year. However, for any catchment, the optimal capacity of check dams is unknown, and the impacts on downstream [...] Read more.
Investment in the small-scale enhancement of groundwater recharge through check dams and other recharge structures in rural India is on the order of USD 1 billion/year. However, for any catchment, the optimal capacity of check dams is unknown, and the impacts on downstream flows are rarely determined. This paper describes a method that can be applied to plan recharge augmentation in catchments that have at least one monitored check dam. It was applied in the Dharta catchment of the Aravalli Hills in Udaipur district, Rajasthan, India, where four check dams in an ephemeral stream were monitored by farmers over seven years. For the last three years of this study, the hydrology of two of these check dams was affected by 19 new check dams established upstream. A basic hydrologic model, WaterCress, was calibrated on monitored check-dam storages and used to assess the impacts of the new structures on recharge from those downstream. Then, the model was rerun with a range of capacities of upstream check dams to determine the effects of check-dam capacity on (1) the recharge from the downstream check dam, (2) the total recharge from all check dams, and (3) the frequency of spill from the downstream check dam. Using the available economic information, the benefit–cost ratio was calculated for a range of check-dam capacities. This showed a decline in economic efficiency with each new check dam and defined the optimal capacity. Monsoon size was found to be consequential to results, and longer hydrological records yield more reliable results. The study showed that monitoring check dams, rainfall, and groundwater levels is key to deciding whether additional check dams are economically beneficial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability)
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