A recent study performed on small- to medium scale aquifer storage and recovery systems developed within SALutions, shows that these systems are cost-effective. Meaning, they provide a cheaper source of freshwater supply than alternative source like storage in aboveground basins, piped water, and desalinated groundwater.
Based on the true costs of four innovative Dutch coastal ASR systems realized between 2011 and 2016 for the purpose of irrigation water supply, it was found that the costs of per cubic meter of freshwater supplied are generally in the range of 0.50 to 0.60 euro. This is lower than alternatives like drinking water and desalinated groundwater (between 0.60 to 1.00 euro), which both have limited capacity or environmental objections. ASR is also cheaper than storing water surpluses in aboveground basins (0.80 to 2.90 euro/m3). This is mainly due to the large spatial footprint of aboveground storage and the loss of crop production it brings along.
The study underlines one important advantage of the subsurface water solutions introduced by SALutions: lower total costs of operation.