On March 15, an article entitled “China Needs Managed Aquifer Recharge” by Prof. Yan Zheng from the College of Engineering, Peking University, and others was published on the journal China Water Risk. (http://chinawaterrisk.org/opinions/china-needs-managed-aquifer-recharge)
In this article, the authors explain the concept, necessity, advantages, application fields and practical application cases of managed aquifer recharge (MAR). They point out that through controlling and recharging underground water on purpose, MAR can improve groundwater quality, prevent salt water from intruding into coastal aquifers and reduce evaporation of stored water. It can also better support ecosystems which improve local amenity, land value and biodiversity.
According to the article, with economic development and improving living standards, water use has risen continuously in China. More water use means more waste water discharge. Treated waste water can be “reclaimed” for a wide range of use, including landscaping and irrigation. An often overlooked method to reclaim the treated waste water is through Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) to store this water in aquifers for later use. MAR is the purposeful recharge of water to aquifers for subsequent reuse or for environmental benefit.
The foremost challenge for MAR’s application in China is to overcome the perception that there is a risk that is not worth taking. There is also a valid concern that even with a guideline and with the best intent to manage the environmental risks associated with MAR, it is unclear whether such a guideline can be adhered to in practice. However, the authors believe that MAR is likely to shift from a niche technology to become a key component of a standard water management portfolio, among more traditional techniques available to urban and rural water managers across China.
This article benefited from discussions during the 2015 IAH-MAR China Chapter Workshop that took place at the Institute of Water Sciences, Peking University. A China MAR working group has been formed. The article was written by Prof. Yan Zheng, Prof. Weiping Wang of Ji’nan University, Dr. Fandong Zheng of Beijing Water Science and Technology and Dr. Peter Dillion of IAH-MAR Commission and assisted by Meng Ma, Linfeng Zhang and Jie Liu of the Institute of Water Sciences, Peking University.