Attendees at ISMAR10, Madrid, May 2019 – the latest triennial symposium of IAH-MAR, UNESCO and ASCE

Welcome to the website of the International Association of Hydrogeologists Commission on Managing Aquifer Recharge (IAH-MAR). Here you can discover what our working groups are doing and contribute to their current projects, you can download resources on MAR, connect with people, get information on symposia coming up, and join our email list to stay informed of latest news. We also have sister sites in Spanish and Chinese.

Managed Aquifer Recharge

Managed aquifer recharge, also called groundwater replenishment, water banking and artificial recharge, is the purposeful recharge of water to aquifers for subsequent recovery or environmental benefit.  It embraces methods such as riverbank filtration, stream bed weirs, infiltration ponds and injection wells, and uses natural water sources and appropriately treated urban stormwater, sewage and other waste waters to increase groundwater storage, protect and improve water quality,and secure drought and emergency supplies. Its growing scientific base supports its rapidly increasing use as a vital management tool in the sustainable use of the world’s water resources.

Latest News


Online seminar on “Planning a riverbank filtration scheme” offered by the University of Applied Sciences Dresden on 17 March 2021

The University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Dresden organises an online seminar on “Planning a riverbank filtration scheme”. The event is part of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) funded project “HAW International Future.East– HTW Dresden national and international” and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research project “CCRBF – Expansion of the Indo-German Competence Centre for Riverbank Filtration”. The programme covers the feasibility assessment for a RBF scheme (estimation of geohydraulic parameters, drilling of exploratory wells and interpretation of borehole logs) and he design of RBF schemes (aquifer capacity and well yield, portion of bank filtrate). The seminar is offered free of charge but prior registration is needed. For more information contact the organisers at mariss@htw-dresden.de.


Online workshop on “Artificial recharge in Gulf Cooperation Council countries” on 17 March 2021

The Water Research Center at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) and The Water Sciences and Technology Association are organising on 17 March 2021 a workshop on “Artificial recharge in GCC countries”.


Online workshop on MAR in China organised on 22 March 2021 by the China – Denmark research project “MAR China”

The Danish Embassy in Beijing cordially together with co-organiser Danish Environmental Protection Agency invites you to participate in online water talks on the World Water Day on 22 March 2021. The online workshop is organised as part of the research collaboration project “MAR China”. For more info visit the project website or download the workshop invitation and agenda.


A new online seminar organised in Chile on 4 Nov 2020, 10:00 – 11:30 local time, with the title “Soluciones hídrica para la Recarga de Acuíferos Gestionada en Chile”.

The seminar will present details the of the recently elaborated Methodological Guide of Managed Aquifer Recharge for Agriculture in Chile, developed by CNR and CSIRO. Registration under: https://welcu.com/csiro-cl/soluciones-hidricas-para-el-futuro-recarga-de-acuiferos.



Session on MAR at IAH2021 in Brazil with the title: “Water for future generations: the urgent need to increase managed aquifer recharge” – live online on 22 Oct 2020, 2:30 GMT

Due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the 47th IAH Congress has been moved online. The conference adopted an innovative format, including a series of web-based seminars stretching for the duration of one entire year (Sep 2020 – Aug 2021). On 22 Oct 2020, a session on MAR will start at 2:30 pm entitled “Water for future generations: the urgent need to increase managed aquifer recharge”. The session will be streamed on the ABAS YouTube channel, registration is free. For more info, visit the conference website at www.iah2021brazil.org.


First online seminar on “Managed aquifer recharge in Latin America: Experiences and challenges” organised by the MAR Community of Practice in Latin America (LatinMAR)

On 15 October 2020, the Latin American Community of Practice on MAR (LatinMAR) will organise the first online seminar on “Managed aquifer recharge in Latin America: Experiences and challenges”. The programme will include presentations of MAR practices in Mexico, Chile and Argentina, as well as a virtual tour of the infiltration lagoons and wetland in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. Language of the seminar will be Spanish. Read more about the Latin American MAR Community of Practice here and download the event programme.


Online seminar on Managed aquifer recharge organised by National University of Costa Rica on 18 Sep 2020 as part of the project “Facilitation of green adaptation techniques for reduction of seasonal water scarcity in Costa Rica”

On 18 September 2020, the National University of Costa Rica organised an online seminar on the topic of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) with focus on Costa Rica, Chile and other Latin American countries. The seminar is part of the collaboration project “Facilitation of green adaptation techniques for reduction of seasonal water scarcity in Costa Rica” between National University of Costa Rica and Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.


The new “Methodological Guide: Operational Framework for Artificial Aquifer Recharge Projects” was recently published by the Ministry of Agriculture in Chile (in Spanish)

The Ministry of Agriculture recently published the Methodological Guide: Operational Framework for Artificial Aquifer Recharge Projects”. The 38-page document describes the background of the regulatory framework regarding MAR in Chile and includes recommendations for selection of recharge components, method selection, as well as practical guidelines on project development and implementation. The Guide is supported by the National Aquifer Recharge Plan for Agriculture. More information here: https://www.cnr.gob.cl/recarga-de-acuiferos/.


Online seminar on “Experiences and proposals for improvement of the management of Ica’s aquifers”

On 11 August 2020, the Co-Chair of IAH MAR Commission, Dr. Enrique Fernandez Escalante contributed to an online seminar dedicated to groundwater management in Peru and Mexico. The seminar was organised by Comité Sur Ica and included four slots about IWRM and MAR in Ica aquifer, steps advanced and future issues. The concerns about permissions from water authorities were smoothed after the most recent MAR activities. An overview about MAR in Mexico was presented by the Latin-MAR coordinator.

Online seminar on “Groundwater – Base Rock of Resilience” organised on 25-26 August 2020 during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden

The Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP), coordinated by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), in collaboration with the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), and the University of Victoria, hosted a series of online seminars at this year’s virtual World Water Week. The aim of this webinar series is to discuss the role of groundwater in a resilient development pathway under climate change and other slow- or fast-onset global disrupters. More info: http://gripp.iwmi.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/GW-Webinar-Series-at-WWWeek-At-Home_.pdf.


BSMAR17 “Resilience Through Recharge and Recovery” goes online: the MAR symposium will be organised completely online between 5-9 October 2020

The 17th Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (BSMAR17) will be organised this year in conjunction with the Southwest Extreme Precipitation Symposium (SWEPSYM) as 5 day virtual conference between 5-9 October 2020. The symposium is jointly organised by the Arizona Hydrological Society and the Floodplain Management Association. For more information visit the conference website at: https://bsmar.site.


On 23 September 2020, the INTERREG project organised its first online seminar dedicated to good practices and benchmark analysis on MAR solutions in the EU

Within the framework of the INTERREG project, a series of online seminars are planned in English, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian and Croatian languages. The first event will be organised by TU München on 23 September 2020 and it will be dedicated to good practices and benchmark analysis solutions in the EU. More information here: https://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/DEEPWATER-CE/Germany-Invitation-1st-Webinar.pdf.


Capacity Building on Managed Aquifer Recharge: First Virtual Regional Session on 8 September 2020 organised by the Regional Centre on Groundwater Resource Education, Training & Research in Nairobi, Kenya.

In order to meet the water availability challenges for increasing demand, the Regional Centre on Groundwater Resources Education Training and Research (RCGW) organises on 8 September 2020 a virtual training session on managed aquifer recharge for groundwater professionals. The keynote presentations will be provided by representatives of international institutions such as UNESCO IHP, IAH MAR Commission etc.


National Seminar - Indian Chapter of International Association of Hydrogeologists

National Seminar on “Resilience of Groundwater Resources for Accommodating Changing Climate Scenarios” – 7 November 2020 in New Delhi, India

The National Seminar is organised by the Indian National Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists in association with the Department of Civil Engineering at Jamia Millia Islamia, Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The seminar includes four main themes, including MAR: T1: Emerging Techniques of Groundwater Exploration and Management. T2: Managed Aquifer Recharge, Groundwater Contamination and Treatment Techniques. T3: Groundwater Resources vulnerability, resilience and sustainable management. T4: Community Participation, Governance and Regulation for feasible mitigation.


USACE Report - Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security through Resilience

New USACE Report – Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security through Resilience

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineerings (USACE), Institute for Water Resources (IWR) recently released a new report about the use of managed aquifer recharge in a variety of settings and purposes, throughout the United States. The report covers a wide range of uses for MAR such as flood risk management, aquatic ecosystem restoration, drought resilience, salt-water intrusion prevention, and multi-purpose projects. The report is available for free download from the IWR library.

International Summer School on Managed Aquifer Recharge organised by the University of Applied Sciences in Dresden, Germany, from 24 August to 4 September 2020postponed for 22 August – 4 September 2021

The two-week course offers M.Sc./Ph.D./professionals the opportunity to study basic, advanced and applied aspects of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and Riverbank Filtration (RBF). The course focuses on sharing and exchanging knowledge and new ideas in the field of MAR and RBF. The course consists of expert lectures, modelling exercises, laboratory experiments and technical excursions, supplemented by participant presentations and informal discussion sessions. The Summer School will be held in English and student participants have the option of receiving 5 ECTS-Credits. The number of participants is limited to 20 so if interested, make sure you submit your application by 30 April 2020. Download flyer for more information about the Summer School, draft agenda and contact information.


“Sixty years of global progress in managed aquifer recharge” among the Springer Nature 2019 Highlights

We are very glad to announce that the article authored by Peter Dillon, our former co-chair of the Commission on Managing Aquifer Recharge, and co-authored by further 30 members and affiliates of the Commission, was recently mentioned among the Springer Nature 2019 Highlights. The Commission acknowledges and highly appreciates Peter’s contribution to the promotion of managed aquifer recharge worldwide, as well as the commitment of all co-authors to the compilation of this review of MAR progress over the past 60 years. Read the article here.


A whole day on MAR: Managed aquifer recharge as a real climate change adaptation mechanism. Examples and indicators from five countries.

Workshop organised as side event within the EIP Water Innovation Conference 2019 “Accelerating action to tackle water pollution and enhance EU preparedness to water-related climate change impacts”. December 11, 2019, Zaragoza, Spain

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) has been considered for a long time as an important solution to combat the adverse effects of climate change. The aim of this workshop organised as side event within the EIP Water Innovation Conference in Zaragoza, Spain, is to support this statement on the basis of real sites, indicators and cases located all around the world. Download workshop proceedings.


ISMAR11,  Long Beach, California, April 11 -15, 2022 – A key to sustainability

Announced at ISMAR10, the next ISMAR will be hosted by California Groundwater Resources Association, Arizona Hydrological Society and Orange County Water District.  See the ISMAR11 web site for more information as it unfolds. Chair is Adam Hutchinson (OCWD), and co-chair is Doug Bartlett, (Clear Creek Associates, AZ). Committee members include Sarah Erck, Jim Strandberg, and Robert Bower.

This is a return to near where the first ISMAR began in Anaheim in 1988.

If you’d like to host ISMAR12 in 2025 please discuss with co-chairs of IAH-MAR by May 2021.


ISMAR10 Madrid 20-24 May 2019

A record 258 abstracts were received. Now there are a flurry of outputs from the symposium including web downloadable poster papers,videos of some presentations, available from the ISMAR10 web site along with information on the Proceedings when published. Papers are now populating the open access J Water special issue on Managed Aquifer Recharge for Water Resilience arising from a selection of extended ISMAR10 papers.

UNESCO MAR Case Studies Publication

UNESCO is in the process of has commissioning IAH and GRIPP to produce a set of exemplary MAR case studies that describe project initiation and development, evidence of sustainability, and economic evaluation and give a synthesis of each of these elements.  This is targeted at water resources managers with a need to understand how MAR can be adapted to contribute to their needs.   In January 2019 a call via the IAH-MAR email list gave explicit requirements for any potential contributors.  Based on submissions received, selected case study authors were invited to attend a meeting in Madrid on 19 May 2019 immediately before ISMAR10, to help finalise their contributions and discuss the synthesis chapter(s) on these topics, notably to help select meaningful sustainability indicators.  This is a combined activity of the IAH-MAR Working Groups on MAR for Sustainable Development, and Economics of MAR and of GRIPP. It is led by Yan Zheng, Andrew Ross and Karen Villholth, respectively, assisted by Peter Dillon.  Editing is continuing and about 20 sites now have the necessary information and give a broad geographic coverage for a wide variety of project types and scales.  The product document will be submitted to UNESCO in October 2019 for publication as a book. .. updated Sept 2019.

UNESCO Travel Scholarships to ISMAR10 –to support selected postgraduate students or early career scientists  from developing countries
– Applications closed on 30 Nov 2018, and applicants have been notified of outcomes.

Congratulations to the successful winners of the highly competitive UNESCO Travel Awards:

Jose Bonilla Valverde Costa Rica
Prahlad Soni India
Mohammad Faiz Alam India
Meng Ma China
Lucila Araújo Fernandes Brazil
Zhang Hexuan China
Victor Hugo Rabelo Coelho Brazil
Piya Mohasin India


Jose Bonilla Valverde1, Bruce Misstear2, Victor Rabelo Coelho1, Lucila Araújo Fernandes1, Prahlad Soni1, Alice Aureli 3, Piya Mohasin1,  Zhang Hexuan1, Meng Ma1, Peter Dillon4, Wang Weiping4, Yan Zheng5, Catalin Stefan5, Enrique Fernandez Escalante5  (absent- Mohammad Faiz Alam1 )

1 UNESCO MAR Scholar 2019, 2 IAH Secretary General, 3 UNESCO Chief of Section SC/HYD/GSS,  4 former IAH-MAR co-chair, 5 current IAH-MAR co-chair


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