Conference: MAR Con '22 - Barcelona

Managed Aquifer Recharge Solutions - International Conference on Current Research Results

Barcelona, 19.-20. October 2022

The objective of the conference was to bring together all interested parties from universities, research institutes, water authorities, water companies, and others from a variety of countries to learn more about the most recent research on Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and its application in the frame of an integrated water resources management. The MARSoluT research fellows as well as speakers from water companies, water research institutes, and universities presented their research findings and individual projects to an international scientific audience. A panel discussion covered "global applicability, bottlenecks, and proactive legislation" of MAR implementation. Finally, a field trip organised by the Community of Water Users of the Low Valley and Delta of the Llobregat, gave a vivid example of applying MAR in a cooperative framework where water users, stakeholders, and water authority work closely together.

The conference took place at the North Campus of UPC in Barcelona and was organised for the EU MSCA MARSoluT ITN by Technical University of Darmstadt (TUDa), Darmstadt, Germany, and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain. Convenors of the event were Prof. Christoph Schüth from the Institute of Applied Geology, Technical University of Darmstadt, and Prof. Xavier Sanchez-Vila and Prof. Daniel Fernàndez-Garcia, both from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. The following presentations were given:

Session 1 - Sustaining Rates: Chemical, biological, and hydraulic processes resulting in clogging and reduction of infiltration rates

  • Sultana, R., Werban, U., Pohle, M., Rossetto, R. & Vienken, T. (UFZ, Germany, & SSSA, Italy): On the relevance of site exploration as prerequisite for successful MAR site planning and operation
  • Lippera, M.C., Werban U., Rossetto, R. & Vienken, T. (UFZ, Germany, & SSSA, Italy): Understanding and predicting clogging behaviour to enhance and maintain infiltration capacity of MAR infrastructure
  • Hartog, N. (KWR Water Research Institute, Netherlands): Making MAR systems work: Different approaches to maintaining infiltration and abstraction rates

Session 2 - Improving Quality: Hydrogeochemical processes affecting the water quality, with special focus on micropollutants

  • Muñoz Vega, E. & Schüth, C. (TUDa, Germany): Experimental studies of the sorption and remediation of selected emerging organic contaminants
  • Horovitz, M., Muñoz Vega, E., Leitão, T.E., Schüth, C. & Schulz, S. (LNEC, Portugal, & TUDa, Germany): Large-scale sand tank experiments to assess water quality changes during soil aquifer treatment
  • Rudnik, G., Rabinovich, A., Katz, Y. & Kurtzman, D. (ARO, TAU, & Mekorot, Israel): Reactive transport modelling in a double source MAR site
  • Valhondo, C. (CNRS, France): Renaturalization of reclaimed water through enhanced soil aquifer treatment with reactive barriers
  • Pérez Illanes, R., Muñoz Vega, E., Schulz, S., Schüth, C. & Fernàndez-Garcia, D. (UPC, Spain, & TUDa, Germany): Precipitation of Fe(III) oxyhydroxides in porous media and its influence in solute breakthrough
  • Hübner, U. (TUM, Germany): Engineering of managed aquifer recharge systems to optimize biotransformation of trace organic chemicals

Session 3 - Proving Performance: Monitoring and modelling, including reactive transport models to predict the fate of patho­gens and emerging pollutants

  • Behle, V.R., Rodríguez-Escales, P. & Sanchez-Vila, X. (UPC, Spain): MAR modelling: hydrogeochemistry and fate of contaminants
  • Caligaris, E.R. & Rossetto, R. (SSSA, Italy): Hydroinformatics and monitoring for investigating groundwater quality changes in managed aquifer recharge
  • Vlassopoulou, A., Tentes, G. & Kallioras, A. (NTUA, & G2S, Greece): Participatory modelling in MAR
  • Negev, I. (Mekorot, Israel): The Shafdan Experience

Session 4 - Optimizing Design: Implications of the processes mentioned above on the technical design of MAR projects in the frame of regional flow models and water management plans

  • Henao Casas, J.D., Fernández Escalante, E. & Ayuga, F. (Tragsa & UPM, Spain): Advanced technical and conceptual solutions in managed aquifer recharge
  • Demichele, F. & Sapiano, M. (EWA, Malta): Hydrogeological and geochemical modelling of a sea-water intrusion barrier in an island/coastal groundwater body
  • Standen, K., Monteiro, J.P., Costa, L. & Hugman, R. (UAlg, Portugal, & Flinders University, Australia): Opportunities to improve aquifer status using MAR through River Basin Management Plans in the Algarve, Portugal
  • Benedicto van Dalen, D. (Acaciawater, Netherlands): The experience of Acacia Water in the design and implementation of ASR systems - the case of a farming cooperative in Texel, the Netherlands



Full programe of the conference for download in pdf format

The panel discussion closing the conference emphasized the absolute necessity of MAR being included into integrated water resources management and regulations in the frame of the WFD and GWD. Therefore it is essential to increase communication to politicians, end-users, and stakeholders, and MAR should also be brought into the media, education, courses, to technicians etc. It was emphasized that successful model case studies are needed, in order to promote MAR towards policy makers and regulators and to encourage others to implement MAR as well. Leading by example is one of the key aspects of introducing a technology to the public and building confidence in its performance. Water quality remains an obstacle, therefore it appears to be necessary to discuss a "fit for purpose" approach, i.e. applying different measures for, e.g., agricultural purpose, golf courses, or drinking water production.

In total 78 persons registered for participation in the conference which provided excellent opportunities for international networking.

Field trip to Llobregat valley (photo: A. Wefer-Roehl/TUDa)
Daniela Benedicto van Dalen (Acaciawater, Netherlands) presenting a MAR application on Texel island (photo: K.E. Roehl/TUDa)
Uwe Hübner (Technical University of Munich, Germany) on the biotransformation of trace organic chemicals (photo: K.E. Roehl/TUDa)
Panel discussion at the end of the conference on the applicability of MAR (photo: K.E. Roehl/TUDa)

Contact: Dr. Annette Wefer-Roehl, - Last update: 15.11.2022.

MARSoluT - Managed Aquifer Recharge Solutions Training Network - is a four-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission.

Coordination & Contact:

Prof. Dr. Christoph Schüth

Darmstadt Technical University
Applied Geosciences
Schnittspahnstr. 9
64287 Darmstadt

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