Managed Aquifer Recharge

Oranje Creativeres-page2, Research Capabilities

Managed aquifer recharge using stormwater and treated wastewater is used to augment water supplies in major urban areas, including Adelaide and Perth. It is also used in rural areas to provide water for irrigation and in mining environments.

NCGRT researchers have been involved with design and evaluation of major urban MAR projects, including assessment of physical, chemical and biological clogging and transport of microorganisms and the risk of metal mobilisation through injection of oxidised source waters into reduced aquifers. In rural areas, we have been working in NSW and Queensland, examining the potential for MAR to increase water supplies for irrigated agriculture. We have also been examining the potential for MAR to improve mine closure outcomes, by reinjecting water that is pumped to dewater mine pits and is surplus to mine operations. The injected water will increase the rate of water table recovery after mining ceases and cause the pit lake to fill more rapidly thereby reducing the potential for oxidisation of minerals in pit walls and improving water quality.

Selected Publications

Sloan S, Cook PG and Wallis I (2023) Managed Aquifer Recharge in Mining: A Review. Groundwater, 61, 305-317.

Harvey N, Guillaume JHA, Merrit W, Ticehurt J, and Thompson K (2023) How could managed aquifer recharge be feasible in the Coleambally Irrigation Area? Australasian Journal of Water Resources

Li H, Lu C, Werner AD, Irvine DJ, and Luo J (2022) Impacts of Heterogeneity on Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Saline Aquifers. Water Resources Research, 58, 2021WR031306.

Lu C, Shi W, Xin P, Wu J, and Werner AD (2017) Replenishing an unconfined coastal aquifer to control seawater intrusion: injection or infiltration? Water Resources Research, 53, 4775-4786.

Wallis I, Prommer H, Pichler T, Post V, Norton S, Annable M, and Simmons C (2011) Process-Based Reactive Transport Model To Quantify Arsenic Mobility during Aquifer Storage and Recovery of Potable Water. Environmental Science and Technology, 45, 6924-6931.