Mapping Economic Feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge
2.1. MAR Project Design
2.2. Economical Approach-Cost Function
2.2.1. Investment Costs
- Cost of preliminary studies (IC1): All preliminary characterization studies of the recharge site (e.g., geological and hydrogeological characterization, technico-economic study, impact study, and preparation of the authorization file). In general, in “water” projects, this cost represents between 5% and 20% of the total investment cost depending on the size and complexity of the recharge project.
- Water abstraction cost (IC2): cost of civil engineering works for the pumping of water out of the river/canal, as well as pumping equipment (in the case where gravity supply is not possible).
- Water transfer cost (IC3): in most cases, it will be necessary to transfer the water to the recharge site. This investment item concerns the construction of water transfer infrastructure including the supply pipeline. Depending on distances (up to a few tens of kilometres) and volumes, this investment cost item can be significant in relation to the total investment.
- Cost of recharge water (pre)treatment units (IC4): the quality of the recharge water must meet regulation standards for recharge authorization. At a minimum, intermediate settling and filtration basins (primary treatment) could be required to limit the clogging of the recharge structures. Additional treatment (secondary or tertiary treatment) may be required (especially in the case of direct recharge).
- Costs related to land acquisition (IC5): the cost of purchasing land for the construction of infiltration basins, which may be significant depending on the location of the recharge site (rural or urbanized environment). It depends on the number and total surface area of the basins, which in turn will depend on the infiltration rate (i) and instantaneous flow rate (q) of the selected site.
- Cost of infiltration basins (IC6): in general, this is the main investment item. These costs include the design (civil engineering) and construction of infiltration basins (injection wells in the case of direct recharge), as well as associated equipment.
- Other costs (IC7): costs of monitoring equipment (e.g., construction of piezometers), and ancillary works (e.g., protection and development of the recharge site).
2.2.2. Operating Costs
- Water purchase cost (OC1): if applicable, includes the purchase cost in the case of withdrawal from a water canal or network, as well as charges, levies, or other taxes.
- Maintenance cost of the water intake (OC2): includes the maintenance of the recharge water pumping system in the river.
- Energy cost (OC3): corresponds with the electricity consumption of the equipment and pumping system used to supply the recharge water to the recharge site (if not gravity-fed). It will depend on the flow rate and the price of energy.
- Pre-treatment operational cost (OC4): the operational and maintenance costs of the infrastructure for pre-treatment of groundwater (excluding investment). They include, for example, the cost of maintaining and cleaning settling tanks, the cost of chlorination products, etc.
- Cost of maintenance and upkeep of infiltration basins (OC5): includes the maintenance of the recharge device (e.g., cleaning of infiltration basins) and its surroundings.
- Monitoring cost (OC6): all the costs related to the control and periodic monitoring of groundwater or recharge water quality (e.g., laboratory analysis cost) or the costs associated with checking the proper functioning of the device (essentially labour costs if an automated control system is not set up).
- Other annual expenses (OC7): includes all financial expenses not mentioned above: administrative and personnel management expenses, financial expenses on investment and insurance loans, etc.
2.2.3. Levelised Cost
2.3. Costs Mapping Method
3. Reference Case Study
3.1. Case Study Description
- The Vidourle River, to the west, is characterized by a very low baseflow and frequent flash floods. Water could be abstracted only during medium to high flow periods (excluding baseflow period).
- The Vistre River crosses the aquifer from northeast to southwest. Due to bad water quality, this river does not constitute a possible surface water resource for MAR.
- The Bas-Rhône and Languedoc regional water company (BRL) canal network conveys water from the Rhône River mainly for irrigation purposes. Its very well connected network of canals constitutes an efficient way of bringing surface water into the plains.
3.2. MAR Design and Characteristics
4.1. Reference Case
4.2. Levelised Costs Mapping
- The purchase of water (OC1) from BRL (high costs near the canals and raw water networks of the Gard);
- The levelised cost of water pre-treatment LC4 (considered at 0.10 €/m3 for BRL resources and 0.05 €/m3 for Vidourle river);
- Distance to resource D (price decreased from surface water resources, linked to the increase in the cost of water transfer);
- The soil infiltration rate i (less infiltrating zones in orange, made up of Astian sands of the Costières, less permeable formation than the others, near Beauvoisin, Générac, Saint-Gilles, and Bellegarde);
- The difference in altitude Z (visible in particular in a flatter area in the commune of Cailar).
5.1. Sensitivity Analysis
5.2. Approach Limitations and Outlines
Conflicts of Interest
|MAR||managed aquifer recharge|
|MCDA||multi-criteria decision analysis|
|DEM||digital elevation model|
|GIS||geographic information system|
|VCP||Vistrenque and Costières Plain case study|
|AERMC||Rhone Mediterranean Corsica Water Agency|
|BRL||Bas-Rhône and Languedoc regional water company|
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|Water monitoring||No specific parameter||-||-||-|
|Water abstraction||Recharge rate||Q||m3/year||Annual recharge rate objective for the MAR|
|Recharge duration per year||N||d/year||Yearly duration of the period during which water can be abstracted|
|Daily/hourly flow rate for pipe diameter sizing|
|Water transfer||Distance||D||m||Between abstraction and recharge points|
|Head losses||m||Assumption: linear head losses = 0.01 m/m of pipe|
|Pipe diameter||mm||Hydraulic law|
|Water pretreatment||No specific parameter||-||-||-|
|Water infiltration||Soil infiltration rate||i||m/day||From in situ measurements|
|Infiltration basin surface area||m2|
|Scheme surface area||m2||Assumption: 10% extra land necessary for neighbouring|
|Basin depth||d||m||d between 1 and 3 m|
|Other||IC1: engineering studies||€|| ratio of engineering studies costs|
ratio of yearly costs
|OC7: other yearly costs||€/year|
|Water abstraction||IC2: pump installation||€||q (l/s)|
|OC1: water cost||€/year||SF: subscription fee (€/year)|
Pw: water price (€/m3)
|OC2: pump maintenance||Assumption: portion of investment costs|
|Water transfer||IC3: pipe building||€||di: pipe diameter (mm)|
|OC3: lifting energy||€/year||Pe: electricity price (€/m3)|
η: pump efficiency
|Water treatment||IC4: system building||€||LC4 (€/m3)||30% of LC4|
|OC4: system maintenance||€/year||70% of LC4|
|Water infiltration||IC5: land purchase||€/m2||Land market value (€/m2)|
|IC6: basin building||€|
|OC5: basin maintenance||€/year||Nc: Years between two dragging processes|
Hc: Sand height to be dragged (m)
Pc: Sand dragging price (€/m3)
Ps: Sand price (€/m3)
Pm: Neighbours maintenance price (€/m2/year)
|Water monitoring||IC7: monitoring equipment||€||Assumption|
|OC6: yearly monitoring||€/year||Assumption|
|Total||Capital costs IC (CAPEX)||€||Total of IC|
|Operational costs OC (OPEX)||€/year||Total of OC|
|Operating life T||year||T|
|Discount rate r||Decimal||r|
|Capital recovery factor (CRF)||Decimal||No.1|
|Other||Engineering studies cost rate||α1 = 0.10|
|Other yearly costs rate||α7 = 0.10|
|Water abstraction||Recharge rate||Q = 106 m3/year|
|Recharge duration per year||N = 243 days/year|
|Flow rate||q = 4115 m3/day|
q = 171.5 m3/h
|Pump maintenance cost rate||α2 = 0.10|
|Water transfer||Distance||D = 1000 m|
|Altitude difference||Z = −10 m|
|Head losses||H = 21 m|
|Pipe diameter||di = 0.179 m|
|Pump efficiency||η = 0.80|
|Water treatment||Levelised cost||β4 = 0.10 €/m3|
|Water infiltration||Soil infiltration rate||i = 1 m/day|
|Infiltration basin surface area||SB = 4115 m2|
|System surface area||SS = 4527 m2|
|Land market value||LMV = 1 €/m2|
|Basin depth||d = 2.5 m|
|Duration between two dragging||Nc = 5 years|
|Sand height to be dragged||Hc = 0.30 m|
|Sand dragging and sand prices||Pc = 3 €/m3|
Ps = 10 €/m3
|Water monitoring||Investment cost||β7 = 20,000 €|
|Operating cost||β6 = 0.10|
|Financial data||MAR scheme life duration||T = 30 years|
|Local discount rate||r = 0.04|
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Maréchal, J.-C.; Bouzit, M.; Rinaudo, J.-D.; Moiroux, F.; Desprats, J.-F.; Caballero, Y. Mapping Economic Feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge. Water 2020, 12, 680. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030680
Maréchal J-C, Bouzit M, Rinaudo J-D, Moiroux F, Desprats J-F, Caballero Y. Mapping Economic Feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge. Water. 2020; 12(3):680. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030680Chicago/Turabian Style
Maréchal, Jean-Christophe, Madjid Bouzit, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo, Fanny Moiroux, Jean-François Desprats, and Yvan Caballero. 2020. "Mapping Economic Feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge" Water 12, no. 3: 680. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030680