Special Issue "Managed Aquifer Recharge—Enhancing the Use of Alternative Water Sources for Subsurface Storage and Soil Aquifer Treatment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Use and Scarcity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Daniel Kurtzman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Rishon LeZion 7505101, Israel
Interests: vadose-zone and groundwater hydrology; managed aquifer recharge; interactions between agriculture and water resources
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schueth
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Technical University Darmstadt, Institute for Applied Geosciences, Schnittspahnstr. 9, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany
Interests: Water resources management; managed aquifer recharge; hydrochemistry; isotope hydrology; contaminants in the water cycle

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), that takes advantage of available storage in the subsurface, is defined as the intentional infiltration of water into aquifers with the purpose of either later recovering that water for different uses (agricultural, industrial or urban), or obtaining an environmental benefit. In addition, water quality can be improved through MAR due to chemical and biological reactions during underground transport of the infiltrated water. Using alternative water sources or excess water for MAR can therefore help to increase water availability in general, and in periods of high demand. With this, MAR can be a key tool for tackling water scarcity by linking water reclamation, water reuse, and integrated water resources management in a long-term strategy. The continuous rising prices of surface storage, the decline in natural recharge and the development of new sources of residual waters turned MAR to one of the growing branches in hydrology and water resources both in research and practice.

This Special Issue welcomes manuscripts on laboratory, field and modeling studies, including exemplary case studies, related to any kind of managed recharge technique (infiltration ponds, surface spreading, unsaturated and saturated-zone injection wells, bank filtration, etc.) of any type of water (treated wastewater, storm-water runoff, urban drainage, excess desalinated water, etc.) to any sort of aquifer (alluvial, sedimentary, fractured, karstified, confined, unconfined, etc.), for any purpose (seasonal-multiyear storage, SAT, combat of sea-water intrusion, etc.). We call on hydrogeologists, engineers, bio-geo-chemists, geo-physicists, soil and water scientists and any other expert in the science and practice of MAR that have novel and relevant aspects to contribute to this Special Issue. All manuscripts will undergo a high-standard peer review process.

Dr. Daniel Kurtzman
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schueth
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Managed aquifer recharge
  • soil aquifer treatment
  • infiltration basins
  • recharge wells
  • emerging contaminants
  • water sensitive urban planning (in its aquifer recharge application)

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Revisiting Soil Aquifer Treatment: Improving Biodegradation and Filtration Efficiency Using a Highly Porous Material
Water 2020, 12(12), 3593; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123593 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is an established and sustainable wastewater treatment approach for water reuse that has been gaining increased attention in various countries around the world. Increasing volumes of domestic wastewater and escalating real estate prices around urban areas emphasize the urgent [...] Read more.
Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is an established and sustainable wastewater treatment approach for water reuse that has been gaining increased attention in various countries around the world. Increasing volumes of domestic wastewater and escalating real estate prices around urban areas emphasize the urgent need to maximize the treatment efficiency by revisiting the SAT setup. In this study, a novel approach was examined to increase biodegradation rates and improve the quality of SAT topsoil effluent. Experiments with midscale, custom-made columns were carried out with sand collected from an operational SAT and a highly permeable natural material with high internal porosity, tuff, which was maturated (i.e., buried in the SAT infiltration basin) for 3 months. The filtration efficiency, biodegradation rates of organic material, microbial diversity, and outflow quality were compared between the operational SAT sand and the tuff using state-of-the-art approaches. The results of this study indicate that biodegradation rates (9.2 µg C g−1d−1) and filtration efficiency were up to 2.5-fold higher within the tuff than the SAT sand. Furthermore, the biofilm community was markedly different between the two media, giving additional insights into the bacterial phyla responsible for biodegradation. The results highlight the advantage of using highly porous material to enhance the SAT filtration efficiency without extending the topsoil volume. Hence, infusing a permeable medium, comprising highly porous material, into the SAT topsoil could offer a simple approach to upgrade an already advantageous SAT in both developed and developing countries. Full article
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Article
Geophysical Characterization of Hydraulic Properties around a Managed Aquifer Recharge System over the Llobregat River Alluvial Aquifer (Barcelona Metropolitan Area)
Water 2020, 12(12), 3455; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123455 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 621
Abstract
Managed aquifer recharge using surface or regenerated water plays an important role in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area in increasing storage volume to help operators cope with the runoff variability and unexpected changes in surface water quality that are aggravated by climate change. The [...] Read more.
Managed aquifer recharge using surface or regenerated water plays an important role in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area in increasing storage volume to help operators cope with the runoff variability and unexpected changes in surface water quality that are aggravated by climate change. The specific aim of the research was to develop a non-invasive methodology to improve the planning and design of surface-type artificial recharge infrastructures. To this end, we propose an approach combining direct and indirect exploration techniques such as electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), frequency domain electromagnetics and data from double-ring infiltration tests, trial pits, research boreholes and piezometers. The ERT method has provided much more complete and representative information in a zone where the recharge project works below design infiltration rates. The geometry of the hydrogeological units and the aquifer-aquiclude contact are accurately defined through the models derived from the interpretation of ERT cross-sections in the alluvial aquifer setting. Consequently, prior to the construction of recharge basins, it is highly recommended to conduct the proposed approach in order to identify the highest permeability areas, which are, therefore, the most suitable for aquifer artificial recharge. Full article
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Article
Enhanced Removal of Contaminants of Emerging Concern through Hydraulic Adjustments in Soil Aquifer Treatment
Water 2020, 12(9), 2627; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092627 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
Water reclamation through the use of soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is a sustainable water management technique with high potential for application in many regions worldwide. However, the fate of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) during the infiltration of treated wastewater during SAT is [...] Read more.
Water reclamation through the use of soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is a sustainable water management technique with high potential for application in many regions worldwide. However, the fate of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) during the infiltration of treated wastewater during SAT is still a matter of research. This study investigates the removal capacity of 27 CECs during SAT by means of infiltration experiments into a 6 m soil column. Additionally, the influence of the hydraulic operation of SAT systems on the removal of CECs is investigated by changing the wetting and drying cycle lengths. Sixteen out of 27 CECs are efficiently removed during SAT under various operational modes, e.g., bezafibrate, diclofenac and valsartan. For six substances (4-methylbenzotriazole, amidotrizoic acid, benzotriazole, candesartan, hydrochlorothiazide and sulfamethoxazole), removal increased with longer drying times. Removal of amidotrizoic acid and benzotriazole increased by 85% when the drying cycle was changed from 100 to 444 min. For candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide, removal improved by 35%, and for 4-methylbenzotriazole and sulfamethoxazole, by 57% and 39%, respectively. Thus, enhanced aeration of the vadose soil zone through prolonged drying times can be a suitable technique to increase the removal of CECs during SAT. Full article
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Article
Evaluating Treatment Requirements for Recycled Water to Manage Well Clogging during Aquifer Storage and Recovery: A Case Study in the Werribee Formation, Australia
Water 2020, 12(9), 2575; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092575 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 564
Abstract
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is the intentional recharge of water to suitable aquifers for subsequent beneficial use or to achieve environmental benefits. Well injection techniques for MAR, such as Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR), rely on implementing appropriate design and defining the operational [...] Read more.
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is the intentional recharge of water to suitable aquifers for subsequent beneficial use or to achieve environmental benefits. Well injection techniques for MAR, such as Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR), rely on implementing appropriate design and defining the operational parameters to minimise well clogging and maintain sustainable rates of recharge over the long term. The purpose of this study was to develop water quality targets and pre-treatment requirements for recycled water to allow sustained recharge and recovery in a medium-coarse siliceous aquifer. The recharge water is a blend of 40% Class A recycled water and 60% reverse osmosis (RO)-treated Class A recycled water. Four source waters for MAR were evaluated: (1) this blend with no further treatment, and this blend with additional treatment using: (2) a 20 µm sediment cartridge filter, (3) a 5 µm sediment cartridge filter, or (4) a 5 µm granular activated carbon (GAC) cartridge filter. All four treatment options were also further disinfected with chlorine. The four blended and treated recycled waters were used in laboratory columns packed with aquifer material under saturated conditions at constant temperature (20.7 °C) with light excluded for up to 42 days. Substantial differences in the changes in hydraulic conductivity of the columns were observed for the different treatments within 14 days of the experiment, despite low turbidity (<2 NTU) of the blend waters. After 14 days, the GAC-treated water had a 7% decline in hydraulic conductivity, which was very different from the other three blend waters, which had declines of 39–52%. Based on these results and consistent with previous studies, a target biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) level of <0.2 mg/L was recommended to ensure a biologically stable source of water to reduce clogging during recharge. Full article
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Article
Monitoring the Drainage Efficiency of Infiltration Trenches in Fractured and Karstified Limestone via Time-Lapse Hydrogeophysical Approach
Water 2020, 12(7), 2009; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072009 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 671
Abstract
In the test site of Castellana Grotte (Southern Italy), since 2016, around 2300 m3d−1 of tertiary treated wastewater has been alternatively spread in nine infiltration trenches, dug into fractured and karstified limestone. In one of these trenches, located upstream, seasonal [...] Read more.
In the test site of Castellana Grotte (Southern Italy), since 2016, around 2300 m3d−1 of tertiary treated wastewater has been alternatively spread in nine infiltration trenches, dug into fractured and karstified limestone. In one of these trenches, located upstream, seasonal variations in the infiltration rate were observed, with a lower infiltration rate during summer than in winter. This effect could be due to the occurrence of a bioclogging phenomenon in the warm season. In addition, time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) was carried out in two different periods, corresponding to the wet and dry seasons, in order to investigate the infiltration process dynamics below the bottom of the trench. Remarkable variability was observed between the south and north sides of the trench—clearly related to the local-scale heterogeneity of the rock formation of the trenches. The results suggest that such an integrated approach should be considered of great interest in case of using infiltration trenches as managed aquifer recharge (MAR) plants. This methodology could provide useful information about the heterogeneities of the rock formation, supporting an alert system for the identification of clogging effects during the life cycle of the plant. Full article
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Article
Analysis of the Performance of Bank Filtration for Water Supply in Arid Climates: Case Study in Egypt
Water 2020, 12(6), 1816; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061816 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 883
Abstract
Bank filtration (BF) is acknowledged as a sustainable and effective technique to provide drinking water of adequate quality; it has been known for a long time in Europe. However, this technique is site-specific and therefore its application in developing countries with different hydrologic [...] Read more.
Bank filtration (BF) is acknowledged as a sustainable and effective technique to provide drinking water of adequate quality; it has been known for a long time in Europe. However, this technique is site-specific and therefore its application in developing countries with different hydrologic and environment conditions remains limited. In this research, a 3-discipline study was performed to evaluate the feasibility of the application of this technique in Aswan City (Egypt). Firstly, a hydrological model was developed to identify key environmental factors that influence the effectiveness of BF, and to formulate plans for the design and management of the BF system. Secondly, water samples were collected for one year (January 2017 to December 2017) from the water sources and monitoring wells to characterize the bank-filtrate quality. Lastly, an economic study was conducted to compare the capital and operating costs of BF and the existing treatment techniques. The results demonstrated that there is high potential for application of BF under such hydrological and environmental conditions. However, there are some aspects that could restrict the BF efficacy and must therefore be considered during the design process. These include the following: (i) Over-pumping practices can reduce travel time, and thus decrease the efficiency of treatment; (ii) Locating the wells near the surface water systems (<50 m) decreases the travel time to the limit (<10 days), and thus could restrict the treatment capacity. In such case, a low pumping rate must be applied; (iii) the consequences of lowering the surface water level can be regulated through the continuous operation of the wells. Furthermore, laboratory analysis indicated that BF is capable of producing high quality drinking water. However, an increase in organic matter (i.e., humics) concentration was observed in the pumped water, which increases the risk of trihalomethanes being produced if post-chlorination is implemented. The economic study ultimately demonstrated that BF is an economic and sustainable technique for implementation in Aswan City to address the demand for potable water. Full article
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Article
Low Trihalomethane Formation during Managed Aquifer Recharge with Chlorinated Desalinated Water
Water 2020, 12(3), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030711 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Trihalomethanes (THMs) are toxic disinfection by-products, formed in the reaction of chlorine with organic matter. This work aimed to study THM formation during a unique case study of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) with chlorinated desalinated seawater. THM formation was tested in the field, [...] Read more.
Trihalomethanes (THMs) are toxic disinfection by-products, formed in the reaction of chlorine with organic matter. This work aimed to study THM formation during a unique case study of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) with chlorinated desalinated seawater. THM formation was tested in the field, along a 3.0 m deep vadose zone gallery. Two small-scale experiments were conducted in the site, with untreated and with bromide spiked desalinated seawater. These were accompanied by a large-scale, ~1-month long operational MAR event. In the small-scale experiments, THM concentrations were shown to increase with bromide concentrations, with increasing dominance of the brominated species. Nevertheless, concentrations remained within the single µg/L range, which is an order of magnitude lower than drinking water regulations. Such low THM concentrations were also determined in the large-scale event. In both cases, THM formation occurred in the ponding water, without significant formation or degradation in the upper 3.0 m of the vadose zone. This study shows that MAR with chlorinated (<0.5 mg/L) desalinated seawater through sandy infiltration basins does not pose a threat to drinking water quality at this site. Full article
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Article
Site Assessment for MAR through GIS and Modeling in West Coast, South Africa
Water 2019, 11(8), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081646 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1291
Abstract
Towns along the West Coast of South Africa are facing water shortages due to climate change and increasing water demand. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is considered as a solution to improve water security. This paper presents a two-step method of combining geographic information [...] Read more.
Towns along the West Coast of South Africa are facing water shortages due to climate change and increasing water demand. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is considered as a solution to improve water security. This paper presents a two-step method of combining geographic information system (GIS) based analysis with numerical modeling to select suitable sites for implementing MAR in the West Coast area. Many factors were taken into account to generate the initial map for suitable sites through GIS based analysis. Subsequently, groundwater flow modeling was adopted to verify and optimize the suitable sites selected by GIS based analysis. The result showed that the map for suitable sites produced by the GIS based analysis was reasonable from a spatial aspect, but due to the lack of groundwater seepage information, the most suitable sites developed are not necessarily the optimal choices in practice. With the aid of both the spatial analysis in GIS and seepage simulation, this two-step analysis approach provides a reliable solution to identify suitable sites for implementing MAR. This approach provides a much better reference to the study of suitable sites and possible impacts of implementing MAR in an aquifer in similar areas with water stress. Full article
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Review

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Review
In-Channel Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Review of Current Development Worldwide and Future Potential in Europe
Water 2020, 12(11), 3099; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113099 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 799
Abstract
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) schemes often employ in-channel modifications to capture flow from ephemeral streams, and increase recharge to the underlying aquifer. This review collates data from 79 recharge dams across the world and presents a reanalysis of their properties and success factors, [...] Read more.
Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) schemes often employ in-channel modifications to capture flow from ephemeral streams, and increase recharge to the underlying aquifer. This review collates data from 79 recharge dams across the world and presents a reanalysis of their properties and success factors, with the intent of assessing the potential of applying these techniques in Europe. This review also presents a narrative review of sand storage dams, and other in-channel modifications, such as natural flood management measures, which contribute to the retardation of the flow of flood water and enhance recharge. The review concludes that in-channel MAR solutions can increase water availability and improve groundwater quality to solve problems affecting aquifers in hydraulic connection with temporary streams in Europe, based on experiences in other parts of the world. Therefore, to meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), in-channel MAR can be considered as a measure to mitigate groundwater problems including saline intrusion, remediating groundwater deficits, or solving aquifer water quality issues. Full article
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