Enhancing groundwater recharge by storing surplus water in the subsurface in times of high availability followed by recovery in times of high demand represents a low cost technology that increases the resilience of water supply infrastructures to extreme hydro-climatic events. This technique, referred to as managed aquifer recharge (MAR), represents a viable adaptation solution for sustainable water resources management while it reduces the impact of water scarcity by increasing seasonal water availability. MAR can improve food security and reduce harvest failure risks as the resilience against extreme weather events such as droughts is increased.

Objectives

The main objective of SMART-Control is to reduce the risks associated with the application of sustainable groundwater management techniques by developing an innovative web-based real-time monitoring and control system (RMCS) in combination with risk assessment and management tools. The system consists of an in-situ real-time monitoring system and a web-based platform for control, modeling and forecasting. For this, the existing INOWAS platform will be enhanced with new features.
Measurable Performance Indicators (PI) are used to assess risks focused on artificial groundwater recharge applications, such as health risks from microbial contamination, environmental risks, low recovery rates, clogging and short residence times.

Case studies

Six case studies in Germany, France, Cyprus and Brazil were selected, applying various managed aquifer recharge methods in different hydrogeological, climatic and socio-economic conditions and pursuing a number of objectives: increasing water availability in urban areas, preventing saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers, and reducing extreme climate events.

Reducing the risks associated with the operation of MAR facilities makes them controllable, increases their capacity and the social acceptance of water reuse methods, and demonstrates their suitability as adaptation measures against climate change.

Duration and funding

SMART-Control is an European WaterJPI project of the 2017 call “Water resource management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” running from 01.02.2019 to 31.01.2021.
The project consortium consists of in total 9 partners from France, Cyprus, Germany and Brazil and is coordinated by Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden, Germany.