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Centre's projects featured in CSIRO blog

Two Centre projects describing how recycled water can recharge aquifers in Perth have been featured in CSIRO’s online blog Ecos. The projects demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental benefits of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) systems using recycled water, which can increase the supply of water to Perth’s Kwinana Industrial Area, help maintain wetlands, and prevent seawater intrusion in coastal areas.

The CSIRO project investigated innovative approaches to increasing water recycling using aquifer storage in Australia. It produced a technical report to manage soil clogging and maintain water quality for aquifer recharge using treated wastewater. It also produced a guide to better manage aquifer recharge systems, based on case study lessons and economic benefit-cost analysis. Case studies include:

• Infiltration basins at Perth
• Soil aquifer treatment ponds at Alice Springs
• Aquifer storage and recovery at Adelaide
• Groundwater replenishment system at Perth
• Aquifer storage and recovery at Werribee

Interestingly, five of the six case study economic assessments reported favourable benefit to cost ratios, often due to the avoided costs associated with above ground storage, wastewater treatment, potable water or desalination options.

A hypothetical case study of infiltrations basins, which can be used in the Perth region to recharge aquifers for irrigation, reported a benefit to cost ratio of over three, due to the avoided costs of covered surface storage.

An evaluation of infiltration galleries at Floreat, WA, to sustain the groundwater dependent Perry Lakes was based on outcomes from technical feasibility assessments and concept design recommendations as the scheme is not currently in operation. In this case study, aquifer recharge is favourable when potable water costs are avoided as an alternative water source to sustain the lakes.
Alternative sources such as groundwater are potentially available at considerably lower cost, but may not be sustainable.

Full research reports are available here. Join the CSIRO blog here.