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Inventory of managed aquifer recharge sites in Europe: historical development, current situation and perspectives


Abstract and Figures

Different types of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) schemes are widely distributed and applied on various scales and for various purposes in the European countries, but a systematic categorization and compilation of data has been missing up to now. The European MAR catalogue presented herein contains various key parameters collected from the available literature. The catalogue includes 224 currently active MAR sites found in 23 European countries. Large quantities of drinking water are produced by MAR sites in Hungary, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Poland, Switzerland and France. This inventory highlights that, for over a century, MAR has played an important role in the development of European water supply and contributes to drinking-water production substantially. This development has occurred autonomously, with “trial-and-error” within the full range of climatically and hydrogeologically diverse conditions of the European countries. For the future, MAR has the potential to facilitate optimal (re)use and storage of available water resources and to take advantage of the natural purification and low energy requirements during MAR operations. Particularly with respect to the re-use of wastewater treatment-plant effluent and stormwater, which is currently underdeveloped, the use of MAR can support the public acceptance of such water-resource efficient schemes. Particularly for the highly productive and urbanized coastal zones, where the pressure on freshwater supplies increases by growing water demand, salinization and increased agricultural needs for food production (such as along the Mediterranean and North Sea coasts), MAR is expected to be increasingly relied on in Europe.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Inventory of managed aquifer recharge sites in Europe: historical
development, current situation and perspectives
C. Sprenger
&N. Hartog
&M. Hernández
&E. Vilanova
&G. Grützmacher
F. Scheibler
&S. Hannappel
Received: 8 June 2016 /Accepted: 6 February 2017
#The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at
Abstract Different types of managed aquifer recharge
(MAR) schemes are widely distributed and applied on various
scales and for various purposes in the European countries, but
a systematic categorization and compilation of data has been
missing up to now. The European MAR catalogue presented
herein contains various key parameters collected from the
available literature. The catalogue includes 224 currently ac-
tive MAR sites found in 23 European countries. Large quan-
tities of drinking water are produced by MAR sites in
Hungary, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland,
Poland, Switzerland and France. This inventory highlights
that, for over a century, MAR has played an important role
in the development of European water supply and contributes
to drinking-water production substantially. This development
has occurred autonomously, with Btrial-and-error^within the
full range of climatically and hydrogeologically diverse con-
ditions of the European countries. For the future, MAR has the
potential to facilitate optimal (re)use and storage of available
water resources and to take advantage of the natural purifica-
tion and low energy requirements during MAR operations.
Particularly with respect to the re-use of wastewater
treatment-plant effluent and stormwater, which is currently
underdeveloped, the use of MAR can support the public ac-
ceptance of such water-resource efficient schemes.
Particularly for the highly productive and urbanized coastal
zones, where the pressure on freshwater supplies increases by
growing water demand, salinizationand increased agricultural
needs for food production (such as along the Mediterranean
and North Sea coasts), MAR is expected to be increasingly
relied on in Europe.
Keywords Artificial recharge .History of hydrogeology .
Future .Europe
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) describes the intentional
recharge and storage of water into an aquifer for subsequent
recovery or for environmental benefits. MAR can be used to
store and treat water in an appropriate aquifer from a variety of
source waters, including river water, treated effluent,
stormwater, desalinated seawater, rainwater, and even ground-
water from other aquifers. MAR is a cross-cutting technology
applicable for the drinking water supply, for processing water
for industry, for irrigation and for sustaining groundwater de-
pendent ecosystems. MAR relies on naturally occurring pro-
cesses in the subsurface such as mechanical filtering, sorption
and biodegradation, and is often applied in combination with
engineered treatment systems, as pre-treatment prior to re-
charge and post-treatment after recovery.
The European MAR catalogue presented herein contains
data from theliterature about the MAR type, coordinates,year
*C. Sprenger
Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin GmbH, Cicerostr. 24,
10709 Berlin, Germany
KWR - Watercycle Research Institute, Groningenhaven 7, 3433
PE Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
Cetaqua, Water Technology Center, Carretera dEsplugues 75,
Cornellà de Llobregat, 08940 Barcelona, Spain
Amphos21 Consulting SL, Passeig de Garcia Fària, 49,
08019 Barcelona, Spain
Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Neue Jüdenstraße 1,
10179 Berlin, Germany
HYDOR Consult GmbH, Am Borsigturm 40,
13507 Berlin, Germany
Hydrogeol J
DOI 10.1007/s10040-017-1554-8
of first operation and closure, reason for closure, operational
scale, aquifer properties (hydraulic conductivity, target aquifer
thickness), horizontal aquifer passage, residence time during
subsurface passage, recovery rate/share of bank filtrate, source
water type and end-use. This catalogue is aimed at (1)
outlining the historical origins, (2) describing the current sit-
uation and (3) giving perspectives of future developments of
MAR in Europe.
Materials and methods
MAR classification
There is a large variety of different MAR types, which can be
classified based on the recharge and storage technique into
four major groups (Table 1).Enhanced infiltration techniques
rely on gravitational infiltration and percolation, and include
different surface-spreading methods (areal recharge), point/
line recharge and in-channel modifications. Surface-
spreading methods are among the simplest and most widely
applied MAR techniques. Insuch methods, the source water is
spread over a permeable land surface to enhance the infiltra-
tion and percolation to the groundwater body. Most of the
existing large-scale MAR sites in Europe make use of this
technique, and typically utilise infiltration ponds to increase
the groundwater availability. Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) de-
scribes the infiltration and percolation of reclaimed water
(treated wastewater) through soil and aquifer passage. Due
to the lower quality of source water, SAT systems are often
operated in wet and dry cycles to allow for maintenance (e.g.,
mechanical removal of clogging layer) or to restore aerobic
conditions in the infiltration zone. During point or line
recharge, source water is infiltrated either in elongated (e.g.,
shafts, drains) or punctual (e.g., abandoned dug wells, bore
holes) recharge structures.
In-channel modifications are structures or measures appli-
cable to stream or channel beds. Riverbed scarification is a
measure to enhance the riverbed recharge by mechanical re-
moval of the impermeable top layer in the riverbed. Sand
dams are constructed in non-perennial rivers where during
periods of high flow, the suspended solids in the stream flow
accumulate upstream of the dam over time. Runoff water can
easily infiltrate these highly permeable deposits, creating a
small-scale artificial aquifer upstream of the dam. Sand dams
are often found in Sub-Saharan countries.
Induced bank filtration (IBF) describes the infiltration of
surface water induced by pumping from a nearby well. In
opposite to bank filtration, which is occurring due to losing
river conditions, induced bank filtration emphasizes the pur-
poseful abstraction of surface water by wells. During bank
filtration, water quality improvement (treatment) of the in-
duced surface water is commonly observed. IBF sites often
consist of several wells situated in a line parallel or perpen-
dicular to the bank of the surface water body. Induced bank
infiltration sites are typically installed near perennial streams
and lakes that are in hydraulic contact with the adjacent
Well injection techniques are used where thick, low-
permeability strata overlie the target aquifer(s). Well injection
methods include aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), aquifer
storage transfer and recovery (ASTR) and aquifer storage
(AS). ASR is defined as Bthe storage of water in a suitable
aquifer through a well during times when water is available,
and the recovery of water from the same well during times
when it is needed^(Pyne 2005),whereasASTRincludesan
Tabl e 1 Classification and
overview of MAR types included
in the catalogue
Recharge technique and main MAR type Specific MAR type
Enhanced infiltration
Surface-spreading methods (areal recharge) Infiltration ponds
Soil aquifer treatment (SAT)
Excess irrigation, ditches, trenches, sprinkler irrigation
Point or line recharge Well/borehole infiltration
Reverse drainage, shaft recharge
In-channel modifications Check dams
Riverbed scarification
Sand dams
Induced bank filtration (IBF) Riverbank filtration
Lake bank filtration
Well injection Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR)
Aquifer storage, transfer and recovery (ASTR)
Aquifer storage as hydraulic barriers (AS)
Enhanced storage Subsurface dams
Hydrogeol J
aquifer passage between the injection and abstraction well.
ASTR serves to bridge seasonal gaps in source water by stor-
ing water in times of excess and recovering it in times of
demand. The stored water is flowing according to the local
hydraulic gradient toward the point of abstraction. ASTR is
more appropriate in dry climates with pronounced seasonal
water availability, but is also found in moderate climatic
zones, e.g., the Netherlands. The increased transport compo-
nent for all injected water as compared to ASR, enhances the
removal potential for, e.g., bacteriological parameters. Also,
enhanced mixing with native groundwater will occur, which
can be seen as a positive or negative aspect, depending on
location-specific conditions.
Water storage to bridge seasonal gaps in water supply is
often the primary goal when applying this technique. Aquifer
storage (AS) primarily aims at groundwater replenishment in
the target aquifer, e.g., to counteract seawater intrusion. Sub-
surface dams, which are rarely used in Europe, do not lead to
additional recharge but enhanced groundwater storage where
required. This type is therefore classified as enhanced storage.
Other techniques such as rooftop water harvesting (also
called rainwater harvesting), is a method for collecting source
water (in this case rain) in the capture zone. Rooftop water
harvesting can be combined with injection or infiltration tech-
niques as per local conditions and requirements, and therefore,
is not considered as a MAR technique.
Data availability, coverage and limitations
The data presented herein were compiled mostly from scien-
tific publications (i.e., peer-reviewed papers, textbooks, PhD
theses) accounting for 42% of all literature sources. Web
pages of MAR operators account for 25%, presentations (both
talks and posters) for 14%, technical reports and documents
for 10%, reports from governmental and non-governmental
projects 4%, and personal communication with specialists
and operators, and newspaper articles account for 5%.
The European MAR catalogue does not claim to be a com-
prehensive database including all existing MAR sites in
Europe (which is virtually impossible). The lack of data for
some countries does not necessarily mean the lack of MAR
sites, but can rather be attributed to the fact that language
barriers restricted the literature research to languages spoken
by members of the author team (i.e., English, Spanish,
German, Polish, Dutch and French).
The database contains 278 MAR sites, out of which 56 sites
were shut down before 2013. In most cases, the reason for
closure is not reported, but many of the closed sites were used
as pilots for a limited period of time. At other sites, operation
has been suspended temporarily or was shut down entirely due
to economic, technical or political reasons.
Data presented herein build on reports from the DEMEAU
project (Hannappel et al. 2014), but have undergone
substantial changes. Selected data from the European MAR
catalogue are available on a web-based geographic informa-
tion system (GIS) platform and incorporated into a global
inventory of MAR sites developed by the International
Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC 2016).
Maps presented herein were created with the public domain
software QGIS 2.8.3; the coordinate reference system is
ETRS89, Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area.
Quality assurance and plausibility control
Several persons with various professional backgrounds con-
tributed to data acquisition. Besides the risk of typing error
during data entry, many other factors, e.g., false interpretation,
translation errors, outdated information sources, will chal-
lenge the quality of the collected data. Thus, following the
data acquisition period, various quality control measures were
carried out to ensure a high level of data integrity. Identified
outliers and conspicuous extreme values of the databasesnu-
merical fields were double-checked using the respective ref-
erences. Besides these relatively simple statistical tests on in-
dividual fields, logical checks were performed between relat-
ed parameters in order to identify data gaps. Implausible or
unlikely combinations of parameter values were also checked
and corrected if necessary.
Results and discussion
Historical development of MAR in Europe
Information on the year of first operation and the year of
closure allows outlining the historical development of MAR
in Europe. The modern history of what is called MAR today
begins with two techniques which are most prominently rep-
resented in the MAR catalogue: (1) induced bank filtration
and (2) surface-spreading methods (Fig. 1).
The first reported MAR site in Europe was in Glasgow
(UK) where in the year 1810 the Glasgow Waterworks
Company constructed a perforated collector pipe parallel to
the Clyde River (Ray et al. 2002) and abstracted bank filtrated
water (BMI 1985; note this site is not shown in Fig. 1because
it seems to be historically isolated). This method was success-
ful at the beginning and many other cities in the UK (e.g.,
Nottingham, Perth, Derby, Newark; Ray et al. 2002)adopted
the idea; thus, the 1860s became the first heyday of Bnaturally
filtered water^in the UK (BMI 1985). However, many of
these early sites experienced problems with decreasing well
performance and had to be abandoned in later years (BMI
1985); nevertheless, the idea of Bnaturally filtered under-
ground water^was born and spread to continental Europe,
where it was soon adopted by cities in the Netherlands,
Belgium, Sweden, France, Austria and Germany. The
Hydrogeol J
scientific investigation of Bartificial underground water^in
Europe began with the water engineers Dupuy, Belgrand,
Salbach, Thiem and Richert in the late 19th century (Richert
1900). The progressing industrialization in the 19th century
and growing population in European cities presented the water
suppliers with new challenges. The traditional water supply
based on surface water was impaired by increasing contami-
nation from the new industries and improper sanitation. At
that time, based on the experiences in the UK, Thiem pro-
posed the application of riverbank filtration to cope with
degrading hygienic surface-water quality and increasing water
demand; thus, the pioneers of MAR in Germany can be found
at the industrialization hubs close to the Rhine River (e.g.,
Water Works Düsseldorf 1870), the Ruhr River (e.g., WW
Essen 1875), the Elbe River (e.g., WW Saloppe 1875, WW
Hosterwitz 1908) around Dresden, and in the Berlin area (e.g.,
WW Müggelsee, switched to groundwater in 19041909,
WW Tegel 19011903). To increase the abstracted water
quantity, many water works constructed infiltration ponds
which were often situated on the land side of the abstraction
well galleries. Similar to the development in Germany, river-
bank filtration (RBF) and infiltration ponds found application
in the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerlandfor example, in
the Netherlands, the first known RBF-based water supply was
reported to have started its operation in 1890 (Stuyfzand
1989). The first MAR site in Switzerland started its operation
in Basel BLangen Erlen^in 1912. Eastern European cities then
followed and in Hungary the first RBF site was installed north
of Budapest on a Danube island (Szentendre Island) in the
1920s (Homonnay 2002); to date, this MAR system is the
main drinking water source for Budapest (Homonnay 2002).
Additional RBF sites have been developed on other Danube
islands (e.g., Csepel) and nowadays several RBF sites exist
along the rivers of Raba, Drava, Ipoly, Sajo and Hernad
(Homonnay 2002). In Romania the MAR history starts with
the operation of the Iasi water supply system at the Moldova
River in 1911 and the cities of Cluj Napoca followed in 1935
with conjunctive use of RBF and infiltration ponds and Bacau
in 1961 (Rojanschi et al. 2002). In Finland the first water plant
using groundwater replenishment by infiltration ponds started
its operation in 1929 in Vaasa (Tapio et al. 2006). A few other
plants were developed before and after World War II, but the
systematic development of MAR in Finland started in the
1960s (Tapio et al. 2006). It is reported that in the year 1992
about 20 water suppliers relied on different MAR types main-
ly constructed in the 1970s and by 2002, already 25 operating
water works utilized MAR in Finland (Tapio et al. 2006).
Finally, Tapio et al. (2006) report that after several decades
of experience with MAR, this technique is continuously fa-
vored by water suppliers.
Research and development of well injection methods be-
gan in the 1960s. These early sites were mostly situated in the
Netherlands where pilot-scale trials began. Stuyfzand et al.
(2012) report that many of these early ASR sites have been
closed due to clogging problems. An exception is located in
Barcelona, Spain, where a dozen ASR wells were constructed
in the early 1970s and are still active today (Hernández et al.
2011). Here, the high transmissivity of the target aquifer (up to
40,000 m
/day) and low turbidity (<1 NTU) of source water
are key parameters associated with the good long-term system
performance (Hernández et al. 2015). Cleaning cycles consist
of pumping episodes of 15 days with a flow rate four times
higher than the injection flow (Azcon and Dolz 1978).
Maintenance strategies and clogging aspects are known to
be important to consider for MAR practices, but were only
rarely reported in the available literature for the European
sites. However, in addition to turbidity, as illustrated by the
example given, redox mixing and clay swelling are some of
Fig. 1 Outline of the historical
development of MAR in Europe
showing the number of MAR
sites opened or closed per decade
between the 1870s and 2000s
Hydrogeol J
the additional factors to consider with respect to clogging
risks, which may require pre-treatment prior to injection.
In-channel modifications have been practiced since the
1960s in the Llobregat River in the Barcelona area by riverbed
scarifications. Recently this technique experienced decreasing
infiltration rates and it is planned to stop or to modify current
practices in the near future. Currently this old technique is
operated together with other complementary MAR techniques
(ASR, infiltration ponds) in the Llobregat area of Spain
(Hernández et al. 2015).
Until today, the expression Bartificial recharge^has often been
used. In Europe, this term dates back to the early investigators
such as Richert (1900) and describes Bunderground^water
recharged by human activities. Later on in the late 1990s and
the beginning of the 21st century the term managed aquifer
rechargewas introduced. Some authors reason that Bartificial
recharge^falsely implies that a somewhat artificial process oc-
curs (Dillon 2005), which can be misleading because the purifi-
cation in the subsurface relies on natural processes. Moreover,
the term MAR refers to the management of aquifer recharge,
which implies that risks are managed in a quantitative way.
Current situation of MAR in Europe
The catalogue includes 224 MAR sites active in the year 2013,
found in 23 European countries (Fig. 2).Most of the active
MAR sites are found in Germany (n= 64) followed by the
Netherlands (n= 41), France (n= 21), Finland (n= 14),
Sweden (n= 11), Switzerland (n= 10) and Spain (n= 10),
while in the other countries less than 10 active MAR sites
have been found. The most widespread MAR type is induced
bank filtration with 127 sites (57% of total active sites);
surface-spreading methods rank second among all MAR types
with 77 sites (34% of total active sites). Well injection
schemes form the third largest group of MAR types with 11
active sites (5% of total active sites) and 23 abandoned sites.
Active-point or line-recharge and in-channel modification
sites have been found 7 and 1 time(s), respectively.
Enhanced storage MAR types, i.e., sub-surface dams, were
not found in the literature for Europe.
The spatial occurrences of MAR sites and aquifer proper-
ties are shown in Fig. 3; these were derived from the
International Hydrogeological Map of Europe (IHME
1500)asreportedinBGR&UNESCO(2014). IHME 1500
is a generalized hydrogeological map series covering the
European continent. Aquifer properties are displayed by their
hydraulic productivity and dominant rock type.
The overwhelming majority (n= 150) of MAR sites in-
cluded in the catalogue are situated in unconsolidated geolog-
ical formations. It is clearly visible that the most common
types of MAR are induced bank filtration and surface-
spreading methods, located in central and northern countries
where large perennial rivers and lakes exist. As shown by
IHME 1500, Sweden, Finland, Norway and some parts of
Denmark are characterized by local and limited groundwater
availability or even essentially no groundwater (Fig. 3). In the
Nordic countries, hard rock formations are widespread, while
hydraulically conductive formations occur as small unconsol-
idated glacial deposits (e.g., esker, sander). The occurrence of
conductive but small aquifers on one hand and the availability
of surface water on the other hand is a main driver for the
implementation of MAR (IAEA 2013). In the Nordic coun-
tries, surface-spreading methods dominate over induced bank
filtration, because surface-spreading methods allow for
groundwater replenishment to increase groundwater availabil-
ity. In the Nordic countries, a special kind of surface spreading
has been developed in the last years. Some sprinkling infiltra-
tion plants (n= 3) have been established, e.g., on forested
Fig. 2 Number of MAR sites and
types for European countries
are shown)
Hydrogeol J
eskers in Finland (Helmisaari et al. 2005; Lindroos et al.
2002). Sprinkling irrigation (a subtype surface-spreading
method) is envisaged to sustain higher dissolved oxygen con-
centrations in the recharge water in order to avoid anoxic
conditions and associated dissolution of geogenic redox-
sensitive compounds during subsurface passage. Helmisaari
et al. (2005) also highlight that sprinkling irrigation does not
cause much disturbance of the environment because the re-
charge water is Bsprinkled directly onto the forest soil from a
network of pipes and therefore does not cause as much direct
disturbance to the vegetation and soil surface as, e.g., basin
recharge^. On the other hand, more land is required for sprin-
kling irrigation as compared to basin recharge, because the
recharge areas in the forests are operated in alternating wet/
dry cycles. Apart from different types of surface-spreading
methods in the Nordic countries, the MAR catalogue depicts
a number of IBF sites which are, in contrast to IBF sites, in
central Europe, mostly situated at lakes rather than rivers.
In central Europei.e., Belgium, the Netherlands,
Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia,
France etc.MAR sites are usually found in productive un-
consolidated aquifers, e.g., in the North European plain in
North Germany and large parts of Poland, and along the major
rivers. Clusters of MAR sites can be seen in the Netherlands, in
Germany along the rivers Rhine and Elbe, in Berlin, and along
the Danube River in Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Most of
the IBF sites from the catalogue are found in central Europe.
In the Mediterranean regioni.e., Spain, Italy and some
parts of FranceIBF sites are only marginally found, but some
IBF sites are currently under development, e.g., in the Toscana
region near Lucca, Italy (Rossetto et al. 2015). In the
Mediterranean countries, mostly surface-spreading sites are
found, but also in-channel modifications and point/line re-
charge schemes. Surface-spreadingsites in this region are often
designed without point of recovery and mainly aim to replen-
ish the target aquifer, which is often used for agricultural pur-
poses. At a site in Portugal (Campina de Faro aquifer system),
river water was recharged through infiltration ponds in order to
improve native groundwater quality (Ferreira et al. 2007).
Source water type and end-use
Potential source water types for MAR are river and lakewater,
stormwater, reclaimed water (treated effluent), desalinated
Fig. 3 Overview of MAR sites in
Europe and simplified
hydrogeological formations
(Aquifer types reported in the
International Hydrogeological
Map of Europe,IHME 1500,
BGR & UNESCO 2014)
Hydrogeol J
water, and even groundwater from other aquifers or drinking
water. The end-use describes the intended final usage of the
water from the MAR scheme and includes agricultural, do-
mestic (drinking water), environmental and industrial end-
uses. The number of MAR sites related to water end-use are
shown in Fig. 4.
Figure 4a shows that most MAR sites producing domestic
water rely on surface water as their source water, whereas
Fig. 4b shows which MAR type is producing for which end-
use type. It lies in the nature of MAR that multiple end-uses
may exist and a single end-use was sometimes difficult to
define. Some sites, for example, do not recover the recharged
water and the end-use is then attributed to the dominant usage
of the target aquifere.g., if the aquifer is mainly used for
drinking water abstraction, the end-use is then drinking water
production. An environmental end-use is realized when the
site is mainly for achieving environmental goals, e.g., sustain-
ing groundwater dependent eco-systems or counteracting sa-
linity ingress.
River and lake water are the most frequent source water
types utilized for domestic drinking water supply to a large
extent (Fig. 4a). The most frequent MAR type is induced
bank filtration and has obviously two primary water sources:
river and lake water (Fig. 4b). However, groundwater, which
is in many cases of bank filtration also a source, is not shown
here, despite the fact that native groundwater may contribute
significantly to the abstracted water. Reclaimed water as
source water is found at two active MAR sites. One MAR
site uses this source water type for agricultural purposes in
Spain (Ayuso-Gabella et al. 2011), and the other site pro-
duces domestic drinking water with reclaimed water in
Belgium (van Houtte et al. 2012). In Torreele/St-Andre
(Belgium), treated wastewater is infiltrated in a dune area.
The MAR system, in combination with advanced technical
pre-treatment, produces potable water in the range of 2.5 ×
/a (van Houtte and Verbauwhede 2008). Another ex-
ample for MAR using reclaimed water is found at the
Llobregat aquifer in Barcelona (Spain), where reclaimed wa-
ter was injected via injection wells to counteract seawater
intrusion (Ortuno et al. 2012). This hydraulic barrier was in
stand-by from 2011 (not shown in Fig. 4) due to financial
constraints. The main reason for stopping the injection was
the high costs of the (pre-)treatment of reclaimed water (a
15,000 m
/day plant of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis
was constructed to improve reclaimed water quality before
injection). Apart from this clearly communicated usage of
reclaimed water by MAR, several other MAR sites exist
which use treated wastewater or a blend of fresh and treated
effluent water as source water. This de-facto use of reclaimed
water is often found at MAR sites situated downstream of a
sewage treatment plant, e.g., bank filtration at Berlin-Tegel
(Germany) or at the infiltration pond in Sant Vicenç dels
Horts (Spain).
MAR sites with a clear environmental end-use are rare and
account only for 1% (n= 3) of all active sites. In Germany, at
an open-pit lignite mine (Garzweiler near Cologne), different
surface-spreading techniques (e.g., infiltration shafts, wells)
are operated by the mining company to stabilize the water
table in order to preserve natural wetlands and swamps
(RWE Power 2006); the majority of the source water is
groundwater from the active mining area and it is then
transported through a pipe network (ca. 125 km lengths) to
the adjacent recharge areas to sustain the groundwater depen-
dent eco-systems.
Not all potential source water types have been found to be
utilized by European MAR sites. Stormwater run-off is not
found as source water for MARs in Europe, and industrial
end-use is found at three sites only (in Duisburg and
Cologne in Germany, where IBF schemes are operated by
industrial companies).
Fig. 4 a Source water types and
bMAR types, in relation to end-
uses for MAR sites in the
catalogue (only MAR sites active
in 2013 are included)
Hydrogeol J
Contribution of MAR to drinking water supply
The volumetric contribution of MAR-derived water to the
drinking water supply for European countries according to
the operational scale of MAR sites is shown in Fig. 5.The
operational scale gives insight into the total water quantity
produced by the MAR scheme. Currently about 190 MAR
sites in Europe produce drinking water (see Fig. 4) and are
operated by water utilities (mostly public bodies). The per-
centage contribution of MAR-derived drinking water to drink-
ing water supply is calculated with data from the European
Environmental Agency for the year 2007 (EEA 2010).
The contribution of MAR-derived water to drinking water
production varies greatly from country to country. In some
countries, e.g., Hungary or Slovakia, MAR water may con-
tribute 50% to the drinking water supply, while other coun-
tries, e.g., France, yield only 3% of their drinking water supply
from MAR. Countries with a share of MAR-derived drinking
water < 1% (e.g., Belgium or United Kingdom) are not shown
in Fig. 5.
Some of the largest MAR sites exist on islands in the
Danube River, upstream and downstream (IBF sites in
Csepel and Szentendre) of Budapest in Hungary. The installed
well capacity (indicating the operational scale) of these sites
/a, respectively
(Grischek et al. 2002). Along with all other MAR sites in
Hungary included in the catalogue, the total drinking water
volume derived from MAR is about 327 × 10
/a, making
up 50% of the public water (total public water supply 661 ×
/a, EEA 2010). Laszlo and Literathy (2002) estimated
the share of riverbank filtrated water to the drinking water
supply to be around 40% (in total 470 × 10
/a), but the
source of these figures remain unclear. Also the Slovakian
public water supply relies on MAR to a large extent. The
sum of operational scale for all Slovakian MAR sites (entirely
IBF) makes up approx. 55% of total public water supply
(175 × 10
/a from a total 319 × 10
Especially in the Netherlands, different MAR types are
used for drinking water production to a large extent. The
sum of operational scale for all MAR sites producing drinking
water in the Netherlands is about 295 × 10
/a, contributing
about 24% to the public water supply (1,256 × 10
/a from
EEA 2010). According to the MAR catalogue,
The Netherlands water supply relies oninduced bank filtration
(7.7%), well injection (0.8%) and spreading methods (15%);
Stuyfzand (1989) estimated that approx. 7% of drinking water
was produced by IBF systems (valid for the year 1981), which
is quite similar to calculations from the MAR catalogue.
The catalogue includes 14 MAR sites from Finland with a
total operational scale of 667 × 10
/a. Total annual public
Fig. 5 Percentage contribution of
MAR-derived drinking water
(calculated from the MAR
catalogue) to public water supply
(taken from EEA 2010)for
European countries. Countries
with a MAR contribution <1% are
not shown. NO Norway, SE
Sweden, FI Finland, DK
Denmark, NL The Netherlands,
BE Belgium, DE Germany, PL
Poland, CZ Czech Republic, SK
Slovakia, AT Austria, SI Slovenia,
HU Hungary, CH Switzerland,
FR France, IT Italy, GB Great
Hydrogeol J
water supply in 2007 was 404 × 10
(EEA 2010), which
results in a contribution of 17% MAR water to public water
supply. In the literature, estimations for the contribution of
MAR water to the public water supply in Finland are in the
range of 1315% from IBF and surface-spreading sites in
2003 (Tapio et al. 2006). Helmisaari et al. (2005) estimated
that MAR-derived water accounted for about 15% of the wa-
ter distributed by Finnish water works in 2005 and is likely to
increase to 20% by the year 2010. Figures from the MAR
catalogue come to quite similar estimations with 3% from
IBF and 13.5% from surface-spreading sites.
For Germany, the catalogue includes 59 active MAR sites
producing domestic water (42 sites with dominant induced
bank filtration and 17 sites with dominant surface spreading).
It should be noted that some water works, e.g., WW Flehe,
WW Staad and WW Holthausen in Düsseldorf, are combined
to a single site; hence, the real count of MAR sites is likely
higher. However, the sum of operational scale from MAR sites
in Germany producing drinking water makes up 746 × 10
a, which is about 14% of the total public water supplypublic
water supply 5,371 × 10
/a from EEA (2010). Schmidt et al.
(2003) estimated that 16% of drinking water in Germany is
produced by IBF and surface-spreading sites. Other calcula-
tions are found in StatBund (2013)IBF water makes up
7.8% and surface-spreading sites 9.2%, with a total contribu-
tion of 862 × 10
/a; both of these published figures are
slightly higher compared to calculations from the MAR cata-
logue, and may indicate some missing German MAR sites or
underestimated operational scale. On the other hand, the oper-
ational scale for MAR sites is often based on estimations rather
than exact measurements, and is therefore subject to variations.
However, by looking on the city scale, e.g., in Berlin, the MAR
catalogue includes eight active MAR sites producing about
135 × 10
/a of water, contributing 67% to the total water
supplywater supply in Berlin is 202 × 10
/a in 2006 tak-
en from Möller and Burgschweiger (2008). This proportion of
MAR water for Berlin water supply is comparable to estima-
tions from Schulze (1997), Hiscock and Grischek (2002)and
Massmann et al. (2008b), given as 7075%.
The MAR catalogue includes eight sites producing domes-
tic water in France. The sum of operational scale from these
sites makes up approx. 3% of the public water supply in
Francetotal public water supply 5,861 × 10
/a from
EEA (2010). Other figures in the literature, such as 50% of
bank filtered water in France (Doussan et al. (1997) and ref-
erences therein), seem to exaggerate the share of MAR water
for public water supply. This large contrast may be explained
by different definitions of bank filtration among the countries.
In France, production wells which are situated in alluvial strata
were considered as surface water influenced and therefore
categorized as riverbank filtration wells. This rough simplifi-
cation may have led to the high share of RBF water, but the
actual figures are likely lower.
The MAR catalogue lists nine sites in Switzerland produc-
ing domestic water with a total operational scale of approx.
100 × 10
/a. Public water supply in 2007 was 981 ×
/a (EEA 2010) yielding 10% contribution of MAR
water. Diem et al. (2013) estimated that about 2530% of
drinking water originates from induced bank filtration alone
in Switzerland. This catalogue entry comes to much lower
proportions for all MAR schemes together and it remains un-
clear how this large difference may be explained.
Aquifer properties and operational parameters
Aquifer properties such as hydraulic conductivity and thick-
ness of the target aquifer are highly important for MAR. Apart
from this hydraulic data, the catalogue classifies target aqui-
fers in consolidated and unconsolidated aquifers and aquifer
confinement (confined, semi-confined, and unconfined). The
target aquifers can further be differentiated by their specific
aquifer properties describing the geological genesis of the
aquifer (e.g., glacial, fluvial deposits) and the predominant
pore type (unconsolidated, fractured, and karstified).
Operational parameters are those parameters which can be,
at least within the hydrogeological boundaries, controlled by
the operator. Operational parameters include the lengths of the
horizontal aquifer passage and achieved recovery rates. The
horizontal aquifer passage is the modal distance between the
point of recharge (e.g., river banks during induced bank filtra-
tion or the injection well during ASTR) and the point of re-
covery (the abstraction well). The recovery rate describes the
volumetric ratio between the recharged and the recovered wa-
ter. Representative properties, expressed as the 10th and 90th
percentile, of target aquifer properties for surface spreading,
induced bank filtration and well injection are shown in
Table 2.
AsshownalreadyinFig.3, the overwhelming majority
of MAR sites are situated in unconsolidated geological stra-
ta. MAR sites situated in consolidated geological media are
found near London (UK) close to the Thames River where a
fissured chalk aquifer (limestone) is hydraulically connect-
ed to the overlying riverbed deposits and used for IBF
(Schijven et al. 2002). Other examples of MAR in consoli-
dated media can be found in the Salento region in Italy
(Ayuso-Gabella et al. 2011), some sites in Spain (Diaz
Murillo et al. 2002)orthelargeASTRschemeinnorth
London (Harris et al. 2005). Evidence of MAR systems in
karstified aquifers has not been found in the literature.
Based on the data included in the catalogue, it was observed
that MAR in consolidated aquifers is the exception in
Europe. It can be concluded that the complex flow condi-
tions and higher degree of heterogeneities (e.g., flow con-
duits, secondary porosity) require additional field investi-
gationsan example of a tracer test at an ASR site in fis-
sured chalk aquifer is given by Williams (2000). Moreover,
Hydrogeol J
the limited purification capacity in consolidated aquifers
compared to unconsolidated aquifers complicates the reali-
zation of MAR systems. Flow conduits may act as prefer-
ential flow paths which transport water with elevated flow
velocities, thereby decreasing the residence time of infiltrat-
ed water in the subsurface. Residence time is known to be a
crucial factor for many attenuation processes during MAR,
e.g., microbial transport (Schijven et al. 2002)orpharma-
ceutical residues (Massmann et al. 2008a); hence, the over-
whelming majority of MAR sites are situated in unconsoli-
dated aquifers. Geological formations such as fluviatile and
glacial sediments as well as aeolian deposits (e.g., in the
Netherlands, Belgium) are commonly utilized. MAR sites
situated in consolidated geological media are very rare and
no MAR site in karstified strata was found.
Out of 127 IBF sites, 60 have been reported to be under
unconfined conditions and 9 under semi-confined condi-
tions, and out of 77 surface-spreading sites, 29 have been
found to be under unconfined conditions and 4 semi-
confined (for the remaining no information was found).
Both MAR types require unconfined conditions and it must
be assumed that sites where this specific information was
not found are also under unconfined conditions. Well injec-
tion sites were often reported to be under confined condi-
tionsfor example, the ASR site in Barcelona-Cornellà is
located between the phreatic aquifer (upstream) and the
confined aquifer (downstream).
Induced bank filtration and surface-spreading techniques
show a similar range of hydraulic conductivities. Well injec-
tion techniques indicate hydraulic conductivities approximate-
ly one order of magnitude lower, but the number of records is
relatively low. Target aquifer thicknesses are also similar be-
tween IBF and surface-spreading sites. This finding is not
surprising as many IBF and surface-spreading sites were de-
veloped conjunctively and are situated in the same aquifers.
The horizontal aquifer passage roughly relates to the
residence time of the infiltrated source water in the subsur-
face, but is not equal to the flow path. The horizontal aqui-
fer passage may also give insight on the share of source
water abstracted by the recovery well(s). As a rule of
thumb, a short horizontal aquifer passage within a thin
aquifer implies short residence times and high shares of
source water in the abstraction well. However, both param-
eters also depend on aquifer properties, well design and
operational parameter for a particular site, which makes it
challenging to assess residence times or share of source
water based on horizontal aquifer passage alone. The data
from the MAR catalogue show that IBF sites have a wide
range of horizontal aquifer passages, from a few tens of
meterse.g., 20 m at the Eura IBF site in Finland
(Kivimäki 2001)to even a few kilometers such as the
3.5 km at Aalst IBF site in the Netherlands (Stuyfzand
and Doomen 2004). Exceptionally long horizontal aquifer
passages are found in the Netherlands where well fields,
consisting of some 1520 wells, are situated in a row per-
pendicular to the river bank. The horizontal distances re-
ported by Stuyfzand et al. (2006a,2006b)weremeasured
between the central part of the well field and the riverbank
during low flow conditions in summer. At other IBF sites,
the well fields are situated in a row parallel to the river or
lake banke.g., IBF in Berlin as described in Massmann
et al. (2004). IBF sites with short aquifer passage are usu-
ally characterised by high shares of bank filtratee.g.,
Remmerden in the Netherlands with 82% (Stuyfzand and
Doomen 2004). However, also IBF sites with long hori-
zontal aquifer passages (3000 m, e.g., Aalst, Kolff and
Druten) may abstract substantial shares of bank filtrate
(2968%) in their recovery well(s) (Stuyfzand et al.
(2006a,2006b). Analogous to IBF, the surface-spreading
sites also show a wide range of horizontal aquifer passages,
Tabl e 2 Representative properties of target aquifers and operational parameters for induced bank filtration, surface spreading and well injection
Property MAR methodology
Induced bank filtration Surface spreading Well injection
(Hydro)geological properties
Unconsolidated, unconfined,
fluvio-glacial-detrital deposits
Unconsolidated, unconfined,
fluvio-glacial-detrital deposits
Unconsolidated, confined,
fluvio-glacial-detrital deposits
Hydraulic conductivity (m/s)
5.5 × 10
5.5 × 10
(n= 67) 3.1 × 10
5.5 × 10
(n= 28) 2.7 × 10
3.3 × 10
Target aquifer thickness (m)
1048 (n=69) 1075 (n=28) 28165 (n=5)
Horizontal aquifer passage (m)
501,270 (n=78) 40682 (n=29) NA
Residence time during subsurface
passage (d)
27300 (n=19) 15150 (n=10) NA
Recovery rate/share of bank filtrate (%)
21100 (n=36) 4096 (n=4) NA
Majority of sites for the respective MAR type
10th and 90th percentile;
NA not applicable
Hydrogeol J
1983) to 1,450 m at a sprinkler irrigation site in Finland
(Lindroos et al. 2002). Only a little information about the
horizontal aquifer passage and achieved recovery rates for
well injection schemes was found and therefore not includ-
ed in Table 2.
The residence time during MAR is a critical parameter
to ensure sufficient attenuation of hygiene-related param-
eters and other undesired substances. From a hygiene per-
spective, a subsurface travel time of around 5060 days
(in the UK 400 days are defined as the outer source pro-
tection zone) are often demanded by European directives
(Chave et al. 2006; DVGW 2006). Representative values
from the MAR catalogue shows that residence time for
some IBF sites can be substantially shorter than 50
60 days. It has to be taken into account that travel-time
estimations are subject to large variations depending on
the assessment method applied. Travel time estimations
based on only hydraulic data must be considered less ac-
curate than estimations based on tracer breakthrough
curves. However, median values for IBF and surface-
spreading sites were calculated to be 70 and 55 days,
Recovery rates for surface-spreading sites were often
not reported in the literature and found only at four sites.
Whenever possible, this value was calculated based on
information from the literature source, e.g., at the
Solleveld site (infiltration ponds in dune areas in the
Netherlands), the average annual abstracted water volume
is lower than the average annual infiltrated volume and
the overall recovery rate was approximated to be 90%.
For IBF systems, the share of bank filtrate describes the
volumetric ratio between bank filtrate and native ground-
water in the recovery well(s). Information about the share
of bank filtrate was found at 36 IBF sites and ranges from
minimum 10% to maximum 100%, resulting in represen-
tative values of 21100% (10th and 90th percentile,
Perspective of MAR in Europe and conclusions
For over a century, various forms of managed aquifer
recharge have been used in Europe. This development
has occurred autonomously, with Btrial-and-error^within
the full range of climatically and hydrogeologically di-
verse conditions of the European countries. Although,
over the years, the use of MAR has grown and spread
independently throughout Europe in support of the EU
strategy for resource and energy efficient water produc-
tion and management (EEA 2014), the benefits of MAR
could develop towards it becoming a Bfirst-option^in se-
curing water availability for the future. In the face of
numerous stresses on the availability of water such as
climate change, increased weather variability, salinization,
as well as increased urbanization of coastal zones and
emerging substances, MAR has the potential to facilitate
optimal (re)use and storage of available water resources
and to take advantage of the natural purification and low
energy requirements during MAR operations. Particularly
with respect to the re-use of wastewater treatment-plant
effluent and stormwater, which is currently underdevel-
oped, the use of MAR can support the public acceptance
of such water-resource efficient schemes.
In developing water availability strategies in the face of
numerous challenges, Europe is not alone; worldwide, MAR
is being considered as an integral and essential technique to
meet objectives and demands for the futuree.g., Sheng and
Zhao (2014); Megdal et al. (2014); Dillon et al. (2010). As
globally, the pressure on freshwater supplies increases by
growing water demand, intensified by continued urbanization,
increased agriculturalneeds for food production and the desire
to preserve ecosystem integrity, MAR is expected to be in-
creasingly relied on.
The most densely populated and (economically) productive
regions of the world are in the coastal zones, particularly in
Europe along the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea. It was
estimated that about half of the worlds population lives within
200 km of a coastline (UN 2010). While these areas produce
many economic benefits, the associated high water demand
puts tremendous pressure on freshwater resources and coastal
ecosystems, leading to problems like seasonal water shortage,
overexploitation of groundwater resources, saltwater intru-
sion, and disappearance of wetlands. Further economic
growth, population increase, and climate change will aggra-
vate these problems, ultimately blocking the sustainable de-
velopment of coastal zones in industrialized, emerging, and
developing countries (EC 2012); therefore, in 2015, water
crises were identified as the main global risk (WEF 2015).
Traditionally, aboveground solutions such as construction
of reservoirs or saltwater desalination are often sought to solve
freshwater problems. However, the subsurface may provide
more robust, effective, sustainable, and cost-efficient freshwa-
ter management solutionsfor instance, artificial recharge of
aquifers with temporary freshwater surpluses is increasingly
applied worldwide for water storage and treatment (Dillon
et al. 2010). Typically, artificial recharge in unconfined aqui-
fers is used to increase volumetric water availability by filling
part of the overlying unsaturated zone. In (semi)confined
aquifers, however, artificial recharge can also increase water
availability by displacing native groundwater that is not suit-
able or less suitable for use than the water source available for
storage. In fact, ASR and ASTR have been in confined/semi-
confined aquifers, in Europe and beyond. Depending on the
intended use, a wide range of water quality parameterse.g.,
the presence of manganese, Antoniou et al. (2014)can make
Hydrogeol J
native groundwater less suitable; however, in recent years,
particular attention has been on the artificial recharge of fresh-
water in water-stressed areas with brackish or saline native
groundwater (Ward et al. 2007,2009). These studies have
highlighted the impact of the density difference between the
injected fresh and native saline water on recovery efficiencies,
and recent advances using either horizontal or multiple par-
tially penetrating wells enable the improved recovery in both
confined and unconfined saline aquifers (Zuurbier et al.
During data compilation for the MAR catalogue, it was
realized that clear economic case studies of European MAR
sites are often not available. Economic feasibility can be eval-
uated using cost-benefit analysis, but site specifics and multi-
ple benefits of MAR are often challenging to monetize. The
lack of data for economic feasibility of the various types of
MAR due to the wide range of benefits is considered to be a
major barrier for implementation; however, recent non-
European studies about MAR economics related to water re-
use (Vanderzalm et al. 2015), and conceptual frameworks for
MAR economics including methods for monetizing typical
MAR benefits (Maliva 2014), are readily applicable to
European sites.
Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) for instance can be a
successful technique for storage and recovery of both potable
and irrigation water (Maliva and Missimer 2010); however, as
in other areas in the world, it has not reached its full potential
in Europe. The advantages of ASR consist of the limited space
requirement above ground, the lack of losses by evaporation,
the protection from atmospheric, biologic and anthropogenic
contamination, and the protection from earthquake damage
for example, in the Netherlands, this increased ASR reliability
is very much welcomed with the prospects of longer periods
of drought, despite an increase in yearly gross precipitation
(KNMI 2014) induced by climate change, while water is in-
creasingly recognized as a scarce resource (WEF 2015). The
need for water harvesting and storage is therefore expected to
increase; furthermore, an increase in extreme rainfall events is
expected in the Netherlands (KNMI 2014; Royal Netherlands
Meteorological Institute 2014), which will require better ex-
ploitation of aboveground water reservoirs for retention of
intense rainfall. ASR provides the means to lower the levels
of these reservoirs by early infiltration once potential extreme
rainfall events are predicted, and to provide retention, without
having to discharge (and loose) the water to the sea. Therefore,
the water remains available for later times of demand, while
the unrecoverable part can counteract the ongoing saliniza-
tion. Another European example from the coastal zone is
Spain (e.g., the Llobregat aquifer in Barcelona) where MAR
is considered as a promising technique to be implemented at a
large scale using reclaimed water to improve groundwater
availability without compromising surface-water availability
for direct users.
Acknowledgements This study has received funding from the 7th
Framework Programme of the European Union under the grant agree-
ment number 308339 within the DEMEAU project.
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... Hence, researchers have considered many effective criteria for artificial recharge zoning: distance from surface permeability, transmissivity, water source and well distance, geology, unsaturated aquifer thickness, land use, water quality, and land slope. Numerous means can be adapted to renovate groundwater resources, while the accurate findings of appropriate sites for artificial recharge by traditional methods may be impossible (Sprenger et al., 2017) or difficult (Mahdavi et al., 2013). Several techniques have been used for artificial groundwater recharge zoning: Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing (R.S), mathematical models, heuristic algorithms, multiple different criteria decision-making methods (analytical hierarchy process (AHP), fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP), and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). ...
... After determining the relative weights of the parameters, the weights obtained in the previous step were used to combine all the parameters using the Raster Calculator command for each corresponding parameter. Therefore, given the increasing or decreasing effects of parameters in previous studies (Coburn, 2000;Gesim & Okazaki, 2018;Ghayoumian et al., 2007;Sema et al., 2017;Sprenger et al., 2017), the fuzzy GAMMA operator was used to create the final map. The final map of the proper sites for artificial recharge is shown in Figure 8a. ...
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Iranshahr Basin is located in the Sistan and Baluchistan province, subject to severe drought and excessive groundwater utilization. Over-reliance on groundwater resources in this area has led to aquifer drawdowns and socio-economic problems. The present study aimed to identify appropriate sites for Artificial Recharge Groundwater (ARG) in a single platform by applying GIS fuzzy logic spatial modeling. Three stages were performed. In stage one, nine factors affecting ARG were collected based on the literature review. In stage two, geology, soil, and land-use layers were digitized from the existing maps. Some layers such as rainfall, unsaturated thickness, water quality, and transmissivity data were imported to ArcGIS environments, and their surface maps were made by Ordinary Kriging (OK) method. In stage three, the parameters were standardized with the fuzzy membership functions, and the GAMMA 0.5 fuzzy overlay model was applied for aggregation parameters. Results showed that 72.8%, 16.7%, 7.7%, 2.5% of the areas were classified as unsuitable, moderate, suitable, and perfectly suitable sites for planning a groundwater recharge site. Subsequently, the minimum area required regarding the possible errors based on the literature review determined six sites (A–E) as areas with higher priority. Then, the recommended unsuitable/suitable sites were validated and omitted by using some more detailed views. Finally, two sites (E and F) were omitted, and four sites (A, B, C, D) were recommended for future artificial recharge planning.
... (World Water Quality Alliance, 2021) The natural yield of groundwater can be increased by MAR. In Europe, Sprenger et al. (2017) identified 224 MAR systems in 23 countries including Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Switzerland. MAR also has future potential for reuse and storage of water resources using nature-based systems. ...
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Since the late 1800s, the source selection-surface water or groundwater-for urban water supply has faced several policy changes in Finland. First, groundwater was favored. In 1920, driven by cost and reliability issues, one major city turned to surface water which was a sourcing determination for the country. After WWII, groundwater gradually gained preference motivated by reliability, including managed aquifer recharge since 1970. Instead of identified policy decisions, this shift was based on accumulated strategy. Since the 1980s security issues have favored groundwater while environmental concerns manifest themselves controversially. As a sub-study, treated lake water and groundwater were tasted by 167 persons of whom 86% preferred the latter. An additional expert survey (n=14) showed several benefits for groundwater. Combining these findings, groundwater has several advantages over surface water for Finnish urban water. Yet, for the futures, we need to keep both water sources in as good condition as possible.
... Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is the intentional recharge of an aquifer for later recovery or environmental benefits (Dillon et al., 2020). To face an increasing water demand and maintain, enhance and secure stressed aquifers, MAR is an increasingly important water management strategy (Dillon et al., 2019;Sprenger et al., 2017). ...
Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) can provide supplementary treatment of trace organic compounds (TrOCs) such as pharmaceutical and industrial compounds present in Secondary Treated Wastewater (STWW). Concern on presence of unregulated TrOCs in natural systems has raised recently as well as the interest in SAT systems for remediation. The present study quantifies, at the field scale over35 m of lateral groundwater flow, the effectiveness of the Agon-Coutainville SAT system (Manche, Normandy, France) for TrOCs removal by sorption and biodegradation through monitoring of seven TrOCs (oxazepam, carbamazepine, benzotriazole, tolyltriazole, caffein, paracetamol, ibuprofen) and major inorganic compounds as intrinsic tracers in STWW and groundwater during a 34-day STWW infiltration experiment during operational use of the SAT. Cationic exchanges and mixing between groundwater and STWW during the experiment were highlighted by major ions and geochemical simulations. Due to the low thickness of the unsaturated zone, a 1D analytical solution of the advection-dispersion equation (ADE) was applied on chloride data. Chloride was used as conservative intrinsic tracer to calibrate the horizontal flow and transport parameters such as the aquifer dispersion coefficient (D) and the average pore water velocity (ν) allowing estimation of the groundwater residence time. Transport and attenuation of the TrOCs were simulated assuming first-order degradation constant (μ) and linear retardation coefficient (R), calibrated to simulate the observed temporal changes in the breakthrough of TrOCs. Sorption was found to play a role in the transport of TrOCs, notably for oxazepam with a higher linear retardation coefficient value of 2.2, whereas no significant differences of retardation were observed for carbamazepine, tolyltriazole, benzotriazole (1.37, 1.35, 1.36 respectively). Estimated first order degradation rate constants, between 0.03d⁻¹ for carbamazepine and 0.09d⁻¹ for tolyltriazole, were generally high compared to the literature, possibly due to favourable redox conditions and important microbial activities within the system. This study provides evidence of the efficiency of the Agon-Coutainville SAT system for the removal of TrOCs.
... Water spreading projects employing flood discharges from the River Colorado in Arizona (USA) have shown to increase groundwater storage for dryland cities such as Phoenix and Tucson (Scanlon et al., 2016). In the Netherlands, treated river water from the Rhine is transported by pipeline to coastal dune areas where it is infiltrated as groundwater recharge in basins (Sprenger et al., 2017). ...
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Climate change strongly influences freshwater supply and demand globally. Warming of ~1°C over the last half century globally has directly impacted the supply of freshwater through the amplification of precipitation extremes, more frequent and pronounced floods and droughts, increasing evapotranspiration rates, rising sea levels, and changing precipitation and meltwater regimes. Groundwater, the world’s largest distributed store of freshwater, is naturally well placed to play a vital role in enabling societies to adapt to intermittent and sustained water shortages caused by climate change. It is also essential to satisfy the increased demand for water in order to realize many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including no. 2 (zero hunger), 6 (water for all) and 13 (climate action). Aquifers transmitting and storing groundwater can also contribute to climate change mitigation through the use of geothermal energy to reduce CO2 emissions, as well as the capture and storage of emitted CO2. This chapter reviews the latest understanding of the impacts of climate change on groundwater quantity and quality as well as the opportunities, risks and challenges posed by the development of aquifers for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
... Many countries located in the Middle East have arid and semi-arid climates with severe water scarcity, as well as other regional characteristics such as economic, social, demographic, cultural, environmental, political, or developmental problems, leading the development of aquifer recharge structures (Fig. 3) and the extraction of non-renewable fossil water (Haddadin, 2002;Rahman et al., 2012;Malekmohammadi et al., 2012). Sprenger et al. (2017) have pointed out that 224 artificial recharge sites are currently located in 23 European countries (e.g., Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Finland) which produce large quantities of drinking water. As shown in Fig. 3, most fossil water projects were conducted in Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Yemen, Egypt, and Australia. ...
Water is of central importance for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. With predictions of dire global water scarcity, attention is turning to resources that are considered to be unconventional, and hence called Unconventional Water Resources (UWRs). These are considered as supplementary water resources that need specialized processes to be used as water supply. The literature encompasses a vast number of studies on various UWRs and their usefulness in certain environmental and/or socio-economic contexts. However, a recent, all-encompassing article that brings the collective knowledge on UWRs together is missing. Considering the increasing importance of UWRs in the global push for water security, the current study intends to offer a nuanced understanding of the existing research on UWRs by summarizing the key concepts in the literature. The number of articles published on UWRs have increased significantly over time, particularly in the past ten years. And while most publications were authored from researchers based in the USA or China, other countries such as India, Iran, Australia, and Spain have also featured prominently. Here, twelve general types of UWRs were used to assess their global distribution, showing that climatic conditions are the main driver for the application of certain UWRs. For example, the use of iceberg water obviously necessitates access to icebergs, which are taken largely from arctic regions. Overall, the literature review demonstrated that, even though UWRs provide promising possibilities for overcoming water scarcity, current knowledge is patchy and points towards UWRs being, for the most part, limited in scope and applicability due to geographic, climatic, economic, and political constraints. Future studies focusing on improved documentation and demonstration of the quantitative and socio-economic potential of various UWRs could help in strengthening the case for some, if not all, UWRs as avenues for the sustainable provision of water.
Artificial infiltration is an established managed aquifer recharge method that is commonly incorporated into drinking water processes. However, groundwater sourced from this type of purification method is prone to contamination with chemical hazards. Such an instance was previously shown at a Swedish DWTP where the river water was contaminated by hazardous chemicals during artificial infiltration. Further, there remains a paucity of research studying the quality of drinking water following this type of treatment from an effect-based bioanalytical perspective. In the current study, an effect-based assessment for chemical hazards was conducted for a Swedish drinking water system comprised of two DWTPs fed artificially-infiltrated river water. In this system, artificial infiltration of the river water takes approximately six to eight months. A sampling event was conducted in the autumn season and the samples were enriched by solid phase extraction. A panel of cell-based reporter gene assays representing several toxicity pathways was selected: oxidative stress response (Nrf2 activity), aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activation, and hormone receptor-mediated effects (estrogen receptor [ER], androgen receptor [AR]). AhR and ER bioactivities were detected in samples collected from the river intake and in the open-air infiltration basins prior to artificial infiltration. However, the AhR activity decreased and ER activity was effectively removed following artificial infiltration. In the Nrf2 and AR assays, no bioactivities above cut-off levels were detected in any samples collected along the entire treatment process of the drinking water production from source to tap. Using a suite of bioassays, the current study highlighted the effectiveness of artificial infiltration in reducing bioactive compounds in this raw river water. Although artificial infiltration is a common purification method in drinking water production, the limited number of effect-based studies evaluating the effectiveness of this method emphasizes the need for further research to better understand the risks and benefits of this water treatment process.
A field injection experiment was performed in an anoxic sandy aquifer over 6 days to assess sorption characteristics of 7 commonly applied pesticides in agriculture and 2 frequently detected metabolites. Pesticide use changed considerably in the last decades, and there is insufficient knowledge of the fate of currently used pesticides in aquifers. Injected water arrival was monitored at 6 depth intervals of 1 m ranging from 11.4 to 32.2 m-below surface level with varying organic carbon contents (0.057–0.91%d.w.) to examine intra-aquifer variations in sorption. Observed pesticide concentrations were fit using a non-linear least squares routine to an advection-dispersion equation, from which retardation factors (R) were obtained. Pesticide degradation did not significantly influence the simulated R during the experiment. We observed that bentazon and cycloxydim were most mobile with R < 1.1 at all depths. Desphenyl chloridazon, methyl desphenyl chloridazon, and imidacloprid were, on average, less mobile, with maximum R of 1.5. Boscalid, chloridazon, fluopyram, and flutolanil showed a larger range of R, and R > 2.0 were observed in the shallowest part of the aquifer. Largest R were observed at the top of the aquifer and decreased with depth. Koc values varied similarly, which indicates that sorption is not only influenced by sedimentary organic matter (SOM) content but also by its sorption reactivity. Obtained sorption parameters were substantially lower than reported in a widely used pesticide sorption database, which suggests that sorption parameters are influenced by methodological differences and variations in the sorption reactivity of SOM. The large intra-aquifer variations in pesticide sorption highlights that aquifer heterogeneity should be considered in groundwater risk assessments.
Owing to serious influences on well performance, bacteria-induced clogging has become a dilemma for managed aquifer recharge (MAR). During MAR, surface river water is inoculated into aquifer and mixed with groundwater. Therefore, the clogging-functional bacteria may originate from the river water or the groundwater. However, the origin of the clogging-functional bacteria in the aquifer has not yet been well understood. This study conducted a series of laboratory-scale column experiments involving different recharge modes (using river water, groundwater) to simulate the processes of bacteria-induced clogging and used the high-throughput sequencing technology, aiming to elucidate the community characteristics and the origin of the clogging-functional bacteria involved in MAR bioclogging. Analyses of the bacterial-community characteristics showed significant differences between the river water and groundwater. The bacterial-community characteristics of the clogging aquifer in the different recharge modes were similar to each other and have common genera, namely, Acinetobacter, Brevundimonas, Exiguobacterium, Porphyrobacter, Cloacibacterium, and Sphingobium, which suggests that MAR activity could promote bacterial communities to become identical during surface water infiltration into aquifers, despite differences in the bacterial communities present in the subsurface- and surface systems. This knowledge will assist greatly in targeted treatment and prophylaxis of clogging-functional bacteria during managed aquifer recharge.
Conference Paper
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The North London Artificial Recharge Scheme (NLARS) was developed as a drought management tool, however emphasis on the Scheme’s use is now changing. NLARS takes advantage of the large dewatered volume in the confined Chalk and Basal Sands aquifers that resulted from historical pumping. Additionally, the Lea Valley reservoirs and the New River aqueduct provide inexpensive methods of transferring the raw water to the treatment works. Recharge trials in the 1950s and 1960s led to an operational artificial recharge scheme in the late 1970s. During the early 1990s further developments resulted in what is known now as NLARS. It consisted of 35 boreholes, and was capable of 150 Ml/d output with a recharge capability of 45 Ml/d. The Scheme was further extended between 2001 and 2003 to 41 boreholes and an output of 200 Ml/d, with recharge capability increased to 78 Ml/d. In the next 3 years NLARS drought abstraction capability will be further increased by 30 Ml/d. NLARS is now evolving to allow the management of shorter-term operational requirements. Some bore- holes have recently been equipped to provide direct supply to the network during annual peak demands. Should this mode of operation prove successful then it may be adopted elsewhere in the Scheme.
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Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) technologies can provide a variety of water resources management benefits by increasing the volume of stored water and improving water quality through natural aquifer treatment processes. Implementation of MAR is often hampered by the absence of a clear economic case for the investment to construct and operate the systems. Economic feasibility can be evaluated using cost benefit analysis (CBA), with the challenge of monetizing benefits. The value of water stored or treated by MAR systems can be evaluated by direct and indirect measures of willingness to pay including market price, alternative cost, value marginal product, damage cost avoided, and contingent value methods. CBAs need to incorporate potential risks and uncertainties, such as failure to meet performance objectives. MAR projects involving high value uses, such as potable supply, tend to be economically feasible provided that local hydrogeologic conditions are favorable. They need to have low construction and operational costs for lesser value uses, such as some irrigation. Such systems should therefore be financed by project beneficiaries, but dichotomies may exist between beneficiaries and payers. Hence, MAR projects in developing countries may be economically viable, but external support is often required because of limited local financial resources.
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Innovation born of necessity to secure water for the U. S. state of Arizona has yielded a model of water banking that serves as an international prototype for effective use of aquifers for drought and emergency supplies. If understood and adapted to local hydrogeological and water supply and demand conditions, this could provide a highly effective solution for water security elsewhere. Arizona is a semi-arid state in the southwestern United States that has growing water demands, significant groundwater overdraft, and surface water supplies with diminishing reliability. In response, Arizona has developed an institutional and regulatory framework that has allowed large-scale implementation of managed aquifer recharge in the state's deep alluvial groundwater basins. The most ambitious recharge activities involve the storage of Colorado River water that is delivered through the Central Arizona Project (CAP). The CAP system delivers more than 1850 million cubic meters (MCM) per year to Arizona's two largest metropolitan areas, Phoenix and Tucson, along with agricultural users and sovereign Native American Nations, but the CAP supply has junior priority and is subject to reduction during declared shortages on the Colorado River. In the mid-1980s the State of Arizona established a framework for water storage and recovery; and in 1996 the Arizona Water Banking Authority was created to mitigate the impacts of Colorado River shortages; to create water management benefits; and to allow interstate storage. The Banking Authority has stored more than 4718 MCM of CAP water; including more than 740 MCM for the neighboring state of Nevada. The Nevada storage was made possible through a series of interrelated agreements involving regional water agencies and the federal government. The stored water will be recovered within Arizona; allowing Nevada to divert an equal amount of Colorado River water from Lake Mead; which is upstream of CAP's point of diversion. This paper describes water banking in Arizona from a policy perspective and identifies reasons for its implementation. It goes on to explore conditions under which water banking could successfully be applied to other parts of the world, specifically including Australia.
Probennahmekampagnen an einem Uferfiltrationssystem und Säulenversuche haben gezeigt, dass die meiste Zehrung des Sauerstoffs bei hohen Temperaturen (>20° C) wahrscheinlich dem Abbau des im Sediment gebundenen partikulären organischen Materials zuzuschreiben ist. Nitrat pufferte das Redoxsystem, Mangan-/Eisen-reduzierende Verhältnisse wurden im Sommer nicht beobachtet. Bei zukünftigen Hitzewellen können eine Zehrung des Nitratpuffers und eine damit verbundene Freisetzung von Mangan und Eisen jedoch nicht ausgeschlossen werden.
The use of multiple partially penetrating wells (MPPW) during aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) in brackish aquifers can significantly improve the recovery efficiency (RE) of unmixed injected water. The water quality changes by reactive transport processes in a field MPPW-ASR system and their impact on RE were analyzed. The oxic freshwater injected in the deepest of four wells was continuously enriched with sodium (Na+) and other dominant cations from the brackish groundwater due to cation exchange by repeating cycles of ‘freshening’. During recovery periods, the breakthrough of Na+ was retarded in the deeper and central parts of the aquifer by ‘salinization’. Cation exchange can therefore either increase or decrease the RE of MPPW-ASR compared to the RE based on conservative Cl−, depending on the maximum limits set for Na+, the aquifer's cation exchange capacity, and the native groundwater and injected water composition. Dissolution of Fe and Mn-containing carbonates was stimulated by acidifying oxidation reactions, involving adsorbed Fe2+ and Mn2+ and pyrite in the pyrite-rich deeper aquifer sections. Fe2+ and Mn2+ remained mobile in anoxic water upon approaching the recovery proximal zone, where Fe2+ precipitated via MnO2 reduction, resulting in a dominating Mn2+ contamination. Recovery of Mn2+ and Fe2+ was counteracted by frequent injections of oxygen-rich water via the recovering well to form Fe and Mn-precipitates and increase sorption. The MPPW-ASR strategy exposes a much larger part of the injected water to the deeper geochemical units first, which may therefore control the mobilization of undesired elements during MPPW-ASR, rather than the average geochemical composition of the target aquifer.
As of January 2000, the Romanian population was 22,455,500, with 12,297,000 of the inhabitants living in cities and towns and 10,158,500 living in villages. The population is clustered in 263 cities and towns and 15,779 villages and smaller entities (communes). All cities and towns, as well as a smaller percentage of villages, have centralized water supply systems. Approximately 11.3 million inhabitants in cities and towns and 3.4 million inhabitants in villages have centralized drinking water systems (see Appendix for details).
Due to Hungary’s natural endowments, the public utility water supply is fundamentally (more than 90%) based on subsurface water resources (Figure 1). This is in line with World Health Organization recommendations, since underground waters are much more protected than surface waters because of the overlying geological formations.
Riverbank filtration (RBF) is a significant part of drinking water production in Hungary. Around 40% of the public water supply is based on RBF. It means that about 1,300 Ml/d is abstracted from bank filtration wells. In Hungary RBF areas are mainly along the Danube River, where large sand-gravel alluvial deposits have good hydraulic conductivity.