During the triennial International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR) held in Madrid, KWR and Arcadis presented results of their two-year collaboration within the Allied Waters SALutions Collab and of the COASTAR strategic partnership. SALutions is dedicated to the development and application of innovative solutions for freshwater supply, particularly in coastal areas, with a focus on the use of the subsurface for a robust and sustainable freshwater provision. COASTAR involves making large-scale interventions in the subsurface to maintain (fresh) groundwater stocks, while also countering salinisation.
This week Madrid hosted the tenth edition of ISMAR, International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge: a very topical and increasingly important theme at a time of growing global water shortage. Experts from all over the world shared their knowledge and experience at the event. As he did three years ago in Mexico City, Pieter Stuyfzand gave a course on the water-quality aspects of subsurface water storage, which are important to all the elements of MAR: from site selection to monitoring, well clogging and contaminant behaviour forecasting.
Under the Allied Waters banner, Arcadis and KWR profiled themselves at ISMAR with the SALutions project. By storing local freshwater surpluses in the subsurface, SALutions maintains water supply levels. Extra water can thereby be made available during drought periods. Thanks to recent developments – for example in groundwater modelling, and well design and management – subsurface water storage can be very effectively managed, which is of particular importance in coastal areas with brackish or saline groundwater. Over the last few years within SALutions, several practical applications have been realised, involving the subsurface storage of rainwater and industrial residual water. The greenhouse horticultural sector in particular has strongly embraced this new technique, as evidenced by the successful projects in Dinteloord and Waddinxveen, where subsurface storage of treated residual water and rainwater is preventing water shortages.
In the Urban Waterbuffer, subsurface water storage in urban areas helps keep feet dry and saves water for later use. There is also interest in the use of SALutions in the provision of drinking water and in industry. Allied Waters, sponsor of ISMAR, is providing the required knowledge and practical knowhow.
Regional COASTAR partnership
From within SALutions, KWR and Arcadis also work on COASTAR together with other partners, including Deltares, numerous government stakeholders, companies and water utilities. This strategic partnership in the coastal areas involves large-scale interventions in the subsurface to maintain (fresh) groundwater stocks, while also countering salinisation. COASTAR also develops applications for the extraction and desalination of brackish water for use as freshwater along the coast and in deep polders with brackish upwelling.
Both the local application of subsurface water storage in greenhouse horticulture and in urban areas, as well as the COASTAR approach, were presented to the scientific community and the water sector during ISMAR.