The sustainable use and management of groundwater remains a critical research and societal challenge. Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) has been advocated and found suitable on many locations to refill depleted aquifers with intentional storage and treatment of water in aquifers. Benefits of storing water underground include recharging depleted aquifers, enlarging storages without building new dams and reconnecting surface water and groundwater systems. Comparative costs and benefits of storing water in aquifers through MAR and other water supply alternatives is poorly known due to uncertainty. Research in this study presents an approach and a case that assesses feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge under uncertain conditions in the lower Namoi, NSW. The study has researched the availability of source water from high flood events and has highlighted opportunities and constraints for MAR. Study results indicate that MAR can be financially more viable than surface storage of water if implemented at the right location and scale.
About the speaker
Muhammad Arshad is a PhD research scholar at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University and the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT). He earned his Master’s degree in 2008 from the Fenner School. His research interests involve integrated management of groundwater, Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and groundwater banking. He has worked with United Nations and consulting engineers on water resource management and water infrastructure projects for more than 15 years. Arshad specializes in the management of large scale water sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs including WASH emergency response and coordination.