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Title: EVALUATION OF POTENTIAL SITES FOR MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE (MAR) USING SURFACE INFILTRATION IN NWJORDAN

Author: H. Werz, M. Rapp, L. Wolf, W. Ali, and H. Hötzl

Year: 2009

Publisher: European Water Resources Association (EWRA)

Description:

The purpose of this work was to evaluate the potential of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) via surface infiltration in NW Jordan for an area of about 9800 km². A MAR potential map scaled 1:200.000 was prepared based on several parameters such as hydraulic characteristics of the near surface lithology, topography, land use and availability of water to be infiltrated. The map was prepared in a GIS-based thematic layer overlay approach. The resulting areas of the combined thematic layers were delineated to four different MAR potential classes (low, medium, high very high). 30 % of the delineated MAR potential classes show high potential, 14 % very high potential. The results show that 1388 km² in NW Jordan have been evaluated to fulfil the high potential criteria for MAR via surface infiltration. This means that at these locations an aquifer crop out at the surface, or are covered by permeable sediment layers, with hydrogeological characteristics allowing artificial recharge (mainly limestone and alluvial aquifers with sufficient hydraulic conductivity). In addition the unsaturated zone is thick, the slope at the surface is < 5 %, urban areas are absent, and finally the proximity to at least one water source exists. The water sources comprise dams, waste water treatment plant and surface runoff. In that context all water sources
suitable for MAR in the study area were listed and described regarding their capacity, catchments and purpose. MAR is considered as a valuable alternative to water storage at the surface and as a valuable countermeasure to declining groundwater levels. The results of this overview MAR map can be understood as basis that identifies potential areas for further studies that aim for a detailed planning of surface infiltration. In Jordan MAR has not only the benefit of reducing evaporation losses it can also play an important role in water reuse, by improving
the water quality (e.g. when soil-aquifer treatment is applied) and storage opportunities to balance seasonal differences between supply and demand for reclaimed sewage effluent. Furthermore, it can be valuable to store the strong episodic rainfall runoff from the highlands towards the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea during the rainy season.