Oral Presentation Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

Implementing a successful Managed Aquifer Recharge system (#16)

Russell Martin 1
  1. Aqueon, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Storm water harvesting and the subsequent storage of water under ground using Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) methodologies to achieve water supply sustainability and security is developing as an important alternative to meet urban, industrial, agricultural, and environmental water needs. Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is the most common MAR method applied throughout Australia. Currently, there are approximately 110 ASR wellfields and over 230 ASR wells operating across Australia. Implementation, design and operation of a successful and sustainable MAR system can face many challenges such as well design, clogging, recovery efficiency, poor design and geochemical reactions. Many of these challenges have been encountered and resolved by experienced practitioners in this specialised area of hydrogeology and the success rate of installed ASR systems to date has been high. There are still numerous challenges to be addressed and additional methodologies to be applied in the various hydrogeological settings found throughout Australia. Increasingly however; there have been several instances in the past few years where installed schemes have ultimately presented the operator with a system that underperforms or requires significant design modification post- construction to meet the original objectives of the project. Poor implementation or failure of ASR systems presents a potential threat to the ongoing uptake of this methodology as a resource management option. This paper draws upon recent case studies and a wide diversity of ASR experience gained over the past 30 years to present some of the more important technological aspects and other lessons learned that would be helpful for those considering starting a new ASR system or to enhance performance of an existing ASR system.

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