Managed Aquifer Recharge
Many communities are turning to managed aquifer recharge (MAR) for conjunctive management of surface water, groundwater, and recycled water resources to stretch limited water supplies.
Also known as aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), MAR allows water managers to store excess supplies available only seasonally for use during peak periods of demand. Water is recharged to the aquifer system and recovered at a later date. Because MAR relies on water storage in the subsurface, communities save water that would be lost to evaporation if stored in a reservoir. DBS&A is a leader in implementation of MAR systems using surface infiltration and direct injection recharge methods. Some of our recent work includes:
|El Paso Water Utility and American Water Works Association Research Foundation: DBS&A performed pilot testing of different artificial recharge methods in northeast El Paso, Texas, to determine the best and most cost-effective means of recharging the Hueco Bolson aquifer with reclaimed wastewater. The primary objective was to determine if lower-cost infiltration basins or shallow vadose zone (dry) wells were feasible alternatives to groundwater recharge wells. The pilot recharge system was operated for approximately one year to evaluate the volume of water that each system could accept, and to evaluate the effects of salt loading on the groundwater quality. The infiltration basin consistently allowed an average of 1 MGD to infiltrate over a 0.5-acre footprint. For a given volume of water, infiltration basins were determined to be more cost-effective than dry wells.
San Antonio Creek Spreading Grounds Rehabilitation Project: This project is intended to increase groundwater storage and recharge in the Ojai Valley Groundwater Basin by rebuilding abandoned diversion works, rehabilitating the spreading ground basins, and constructing aquifer recharge wells adjacent to San Antonio Creek in the Ojai Valley, California. DBS&A, in conjunction with other stakeholders, bore the idea of spreading grounds rehabilitation as a means of augmenting basin yield. DBS&A, under contract with the Ventura County Watershed Protection District, completed a full engineering design for diverting a portion of the precipitation typically lost downstream to rehabilitated spreading grounds and aquifer recharge wells. This will result in greater groundwater storage and production from local water supply wells and less reliance on limited surface water supplies. A depth-discrete monitoring well was installed near the spreading grounds to monitor the effectiveness of the recharge project.
Bear Canyon Aquifer Recharge: This is the first project to receive a full-scale Underground Storage and Recovery permit in the state of New Mexico. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) project involves releasing surface water into an arroyo during the winter months and monitoring the migration of recharge through the 500-foot-thick vadose zone profile beneath the channel. The demonstration project was successful, with the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer recognizing an initial storage account for the water that was recharged.
Large-Scale ASR: The ABCWUA is implementing ASR projects for conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater resources using treated San Juan-Chama water diverted from the Rio Grande. The purpose is to recharge the Santa Fe Group aquifer system of the Middle Rio Grande Basin and recover the water for later use. The Bear Canyon Recharge Project is the first project to receive a full-scale Underground Storage and Recovery (USR) permit in the state of New Mexico. The project involves releasing bank-filtered surface water into an arroyo during the winter months, and monitoring the migration of recharge through the 500-foot-thick vadose zone profile beneath the channel. The demonstration project was successful, with the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer recognizing an initial storage account for the water that was recharged. The ABCWUA has recovered a portion of the stored water, another first for USR in the State. The first recharge event under the full-scale permit occurred in November 2014-March 2015, and the project will be operated on an ongoing basis, with up to 3,000 acre-feet of water being recharged in alternate years. Design and implementation of the Large-Scale ASR Project will establish a long-term drought reserve for the ABCWUA using treated surface water.
Mariposa Water Reclamation Facility: This City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, facility was permitted to recharge reclaimed wastewater through a two-acre infiltration gallery. Water movement through the 500-foot-thick vadose zone profile is monitored using heat-dissipation sensors, advanced tensiometers, suction lysimeters, neutron logging, and routine monitoring of groundwater levels. Water that reaches the aquifer will offset surface-water depletions caused by Rio Rancho groundwater pumping.
|Direct Injection Aquifer Recharge Facility: DBS&A is using reclaimed wastewater—a reliable, drought-proof water source that can be tailored to meet the needs of specific end uses ranging from irrigation to indirect potable use—for the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. When the demand for reuse water is low, the purified water source can be stored in surface reservoirs or subsurface aquifers. Aquifer storage offers the advantage of nearly infinite capacity, preservation of the quality of the purified water source, and elimination of water losses associated with evaporation from open surface reservoirs.
For more information on Managed Aquifer Recharge, click here.
Publications and Presentations on Managed Aquifer Recharge
Stephens, D.B. 2015. Managed aquifer recharge. Presentation at the 2015 NGWA Groundwater Expo and Annual Meeting. Las Vegas, Nevada. December 15, 2015. Publication ID: 9523
Wolf, C., Marley, R., and Ewing, E. Applying Geochemistry to Predict Water Quality at Managed Aquifer Recharge Sites. New Mexico Water Conference, Taos, New Mexico, October 7-9, 2015. Publication ID: 9529
Blandford, T.N. 2014. Aquifer Replenishment Projects in New Mexico—Technical Considerations, Challenges, and Permitting. Law Seminars International: New Mexico Water Law. Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 11, 2014. Publication ID: 9547
Ewing, A. 2014. Managed Aquifer Recharge in the Southwest—Historical Developments in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Law Seminars International: New Mexico Water Law. Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 11, 2014. Publication ID: 9531
Marley, R., Blandford, N., Ewing, A.,Webb, L., Yuhas, K., 2014. Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Solution to Water Scarcity and Drought, European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria. April 27 - May 2, 2014. Publication ID: 9559
Marley, Robert, Blandford, N., 2014. Water Rights Administration for Aquifer Replenishment Projects in New Mexico. NGWA Conference on Hydrology and Water Scarcity in the Rio Grande Basin. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Publication ID: 9558
Ewing, A., J. M. Stomp III, K. Yuhas, and A. Friedt. 2013. Webster Well 1 Aquifer Storage and Recovery. Presented at the 2013 American Water Resources Association Annual Water Resources Conference. Portland, Oregon. November 6. Publication ID: 9570
Stephens, D.B., and M.J. Bitner. 2013. Managed Aquifer Recharge in the Southwest: Historical Developments in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Presented at Managed Aquifer Recharge: How Texas Can Maximize its Water Resources by Adopting Aquifer Recharge Strategies, a joint conference for the American Ground Water Trust and the Texas Water Development Board, Austin, TX. July 24, 2013. Publication ID: 9571
Hall, G., R. Marley, V. Dholakia, S. Porter, and T. McVoy. 2011. Pilot-scale evaluation of MBR-AOP-BAC treatments for wastewater reuse and aquifer recharge. Presented at the 2011 Joint Conference for the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works Association (RMS AWWA) and the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association (RMWEA), Loveland, Colorado, September 19, 2011. Publication ID: 9590
Hall, G., R. Marley, V. Dholakia, S. Porter, and T. McVoy. 2011. Pilot-scale evaluation of MBR-AOP-BAC treatments for wastewater reuse and aquifer recharge. Presented at the 2011 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Water Resources Conference, November 10, 2011, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Publication ID: 9591
Hall, G., R. Marley, V. Dholakia, S. Porter, and T. McVoy. 2010. Pilot-scale evaluation of MBR-AOP-BAC treatments for wastewater reuse and aquifer recharge applications. Presented at the 83rd Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), New Orleans, Louisiana, October 4-6, 2010. Publication ID: 9589
Stephens, D.B. 2010. The role of decentralized artificial recharge systems in water resources management. Presented at the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NM WRRI) Annual New Mexico Water Conference, Las Cruces, New Mexico, December 1-3, 2010. Publication ID: 9602
Stephens, D.B. 2009. Artificial recharge by surface infiltration and vadose zone wells. Invited short course with D. Pyne at National Ground Water Association Artificial Recharge of Ground Water. September 24-25, 2009, Baltimore, Maryland. Publication ID: 9643
Stephens, D.B. 2009. Artificial Recharge, Groundwater Storage, and Recovery: An Overview. Invited presentation at the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources 27th Annual Water Law Conference: Change in the Midst of Constants: Adapting Water Law to Meet New Demands, February 18-20, 2009, Coronado, San Diego, California. Publication ID: 9645
Marley, B. City of Rio Rancho water reuse projects. 2008. RMS AWWA - WEA 2008 Joint Annual Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Publication ID: 9669
Stephens, D.B. 2008. Artificial recharge by surface infiltration and vadose zone wells. Invited short course with D. Pyne at National Ground Water Association 2008 Ground Water Expo. December 2-5, 2008, Las Vegas, Nevada. Publication ID: 9673
Kear, J., 2007. Energy savings effects of artificial recharge and increased storage in groundwater basins. First Western Forum on Energy and Water Sustainability, March 22-23, 2007, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara. Publication ID: 9698
Moore, S., J. Kay, J. Kelsey, J. Stomp. 2007. Vadose zone characterization for the Bear Canyon recharge project, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Presented at the 2007 National Groundwater Association (NGWA) Groundwater Summit, Albuquerque, New Mexico. April 29-May 3, 2007. Publication ID: 9682
Stephens, D.B. 2005. Overview of artificial recharge projects: planning and implementation challenges. Presented at Groundwater Resources of California (GRAC) Workshop on Artificial Recharge: Nexus of Water Quantity and Quality. March 16-17, Sacramento, California. Publication ID: 9743
Kelsey, J.A. and W. Hutchison. 2003. Comparison of artificial recharge methods. Joint Annual Conference of Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association and Rocky Mountain Section American Water Works Association, Casper, Wyoming. September 14-17, 2003. Publication ID: 9841
Stephens, D.B. 2003. Subsurface considerations of artificial recharge. Presented at Artificial Recharge in California’Technical and Policy Challenges, Ground Water Resources Association of California, April 30-May 1, 2003, San Jose, California. Publication ID: 9793
Cox, W.B. and D.B. Stephens. 1988. Field study of ephemeral stream-aquifer interaction. In Proc. FOCUS on Southwestern Groundwater Issues Conference, National Water Well Association, March 23-25, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Publication ID: 9979