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

International Riverbank Filtration Conference in Dresden, Germany, 16-18 October 2023

Add your contribution to the field of riverbank filtration (RBF): country-specific experiences on RBF application, clogging, hydraulic design, innovative site investigation techniques, operation and management, water quality aspects, post-treatment, environmental, social, economic and policy aspects, and awareness creation.

Abstract submission and early-bird registration extended until 31 August 2023.

More info: https://www.htw-dresden.de/rbfconf.

What the Future Has in Store: A New Paradigm for Water Storage

The most recent report of World Bank Group recognises the role of water storage through managed aquifer recharge as crucial tool for climate change adaptation. The report highlights that:

“What the Future Has in Store: A New Paradigm for Water Storage calls for developing and driving multi-sectoral solutions to the water storage gap, taking approaches that integrate needs and opportunities across the whole system, including natural, built, and hybrid storage, to support many instead of few, for generations to come.”

Read the very interesting report here: https://bit.ly/3I3rdNj.

Online seminar on MAR organised by the European Federation of Geologists (EFG)

On 15 November 2022, the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) is organising the webinar ‘Tackling the 21st Century Water Quality Challenges for Managed Aquifer Recharge‘. The event is scheduled for 13:00 – 14:00 CET (Brussels time). The speaker is Prof. Yan Zheng of IAH-MAR Commission. Her talk will highlight the recent essay appeared in Hydrogeology Journal. For more information click here. Register for the free webinar at the following link: https://bit.ly/3D5Kewe

The 21st century water quality challenges for managed aquifer recharge: towards a risk-based regulatory approach

The IAH-MAR Commission has contributed to the Hydrogeology Journal’s the Year of Groundwater essay topical collection by articulating the need to designate a subsurface attenuation zone in MAR regulations so that the 21st water quality challenges can be met. Over time, a risk-based regulatory approach has advantages over a prescriptive and qualitative approach and is thus recommended.

Download article:

Zheng, Y., Vanderzalm, J., Hartog, N., Fernández Escalante, E., Stefan, C. (2022) The 21st century water quality challenges for managed aquifer recharge: towards a risk‐based regulatory approach. Hydrogeology Journal.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-022-02543-z

Online seminar: Groundwater recharge through dug wells

WaterAid India endeavoured to access the efficacy and impact of artificial (managed) aquifer recharge using abandoned dug-wells in rural and semi-urban areas. Join top professionals, policymakers, academicians and civil society members to discuss and exchange ideas on the work and impact of this project.

When: Friday, 22 July 2022, 2:30 – 5:00 pm IST.

Join using this link: https://bit.ly/3RA67dk.

Managed Aquifer Recharge: Overview and Governance. IAH Special Publication.

Dillon, P., W. Alley, Y. Zheng, and J. Vanderzalm (editors), 2022, Managed Aquifer Recharge: Overview and Governance. IAH Special Publication (90p, 2.4 MB)

This book was produced as a joint effort of IAH, UNESCO and NGWA with encouragement of the Ground Water Project and published as a Special Publication of IAH in June 2022. Its three sections written by different teams give (1) an overview of purposes, types, source waters, advantages, challenges, and essential requirements of MAR; (2) an international synthesis of policy innovations to harness and encourage MAR in water resources management for sustainability in both developing and advanced jurisdictions; and (3) an overview of water quality management strategies for health and environmental protection in MAR from a variety of starting positions and capabilities. This helps to fill the major gaps in governance arrangements for MAR identified in Zheng et al (2021).


Section 1 Basic Concepts of Managed Aquifer Recharge
Section 2 Considerations for Water Resources Planning and Management
Section 3 Considerations for Water Quality Management

Download book

IAH-MAR Commission plenary at ISMAR 11. Long Beach, CA, April 13th.

April 13th has taken place our last IAH MAR Commission plenary during ISMAR 11. It has been attended by 55 “MARers”.

The presentation includes an update of the whole activities on going currently.

IAH-MAR Commission plenary presentation


International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge, ISMAR 11 has finished successfully! Some facts and figures!

April 11th to 15th. Long Beach, California, USA. From 2022 April 11th to 15th has taken place in Long Beach, Hilton Hotel, the 11th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR 11), hosted by GRA and co-hosted by AHS and OCWD; under the auspices of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH), UNESCO and ASCE, among others, under the title: “Managed aquifer recharge: A key to sustainability”.

The symposium counted on 350 delegates from 27 countries, and has had 26 technical sessions, 123 oral presentations, 7 posters, 2 keynote presentations, side events, three first day short courses, two technical field trips, one after-conference course, and plenty of knowledge.

More info; https://ismar11.net/

ISMAR 11´s Agenda!

Further information and technical/scientific releases from the conference will be posted shortly.

ISMAR 12 hosting city has been revealed

Finally, the hosting city for ISMAR 12 has been revealed. The future organizers have provided a tentative data too. So, save the date…

ISMAR 12 will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, between 2025 April 28th and May 2nd.

Kess Murray invited the whole Community to attend the future ISMAR 12 conference, with huge and amazing expectations and activities accompanying the technical and the scientific components of the congress. The official bid has recently been submitted.

Receive our gratitude Mr. Matthys Dippenaar, ISMAR 12 chair, Mr. Julian Conrad, Secretary, leaders of the organizing committee; accompanied by a strong team, such as Mr. Kess Murray, Corne Engelbrecht, etc. We thank them all.

IAH-MAR Commission plenary during ISMAR 11. The current co-chairs have been re-elected

The last plenary has taken place in long Beach, Hilton hotel, last April 13th, 17 h. 54 in-person members of the MAR family were congregated according to the program exposed in the previous newsletter, and an undefined number of participants in streaming.

The current co-chairs have been re-elected for the next “inter-ISMARs period”. The IAH Executive received neither more candidacies nor expressions of interest, therefore elections were not necessary, and the current co-chairs have been re-elected by the complete plenary.

The co-chairs want to express gratitude for the confidence, and begin a new three-year mandate. The next elections will take place during ISMAR 12´s plenary by 2025 April 30th.

Photo: IAH-MAR co-chairs, from left to right: Catalin, Yan and Enrique.

Plenary agenda. 2022 April 12nd

ISMAR 11. Certificates of appreciation 2022

April 11th to 15th. Long Beach, California, USA. During ISMAR 11 plenary, five new certificates of appreciation were awarded to prominent members of the MAR Community, who have carried out tasks deserving such a recognition.

It is a motivation tradition, and with these, 22 members of the MAR family count on an award, signed by our IAH President, Dr. David Kreamer, and our IAH General Secretary, Dr. Jane Dottridge. The prizes were recognized in person by our IAH President and IAH-MAR co-chairs represented by Dr. Enrique Fdez. Escalante.   THE  AWARDEES WERE:

  • Adam Hutchinson and Robert Bower
  • Peter Dillon
  • Thomas Grischek
  • Sharon Megdal
  • Karen G. Villholth


Dr. Peter Dillon has received the 2022 Herman Bouwer Award

Our dear and admired former co-chair, founder of the IAH-MAR Commission and soul of this group, received the German Bouwer Award last April 11th during ISMAR 11 luncheon.



Call for papers: ISMAR 11´s Post-conference Journal, Water special issue (MDPI)

Selected papers presented at ISMAR 11 will be published in a Special Issue of the open-access journal WATER, continuing the tradition from previous symposia, including ISMAR 10. Submission is open for all ISMAR 11 participants, as well as all members of the international MAR community.

The title of the special issue is: Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability and the included papers will be available in electronic format and as part of a printed book.

Some vouchers are available as waivers or discounts on article processing charges (APCs). Qualifying manuscripts will be selected by the guest editors.

The Special Issue is already open for contributions. For more details visit: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/water/special_issues/Aquifer_Recharge.

Managing Aquifer Recharge: A Showcase for Resilience and Sustainability.
UNESCO-IAH Publication

In partnership with UNESCO-IHP and GRIPP, the IAH-MAR Commission has initiated the publication “Managing Aquifer Recharge: A Showcase for Resilience and Sustainability”.  This reflects the outputs of two working groups: MAR for Sustainable Development, and Economics of MAR.  The co-editors, Yan Zheng, Andrew Ross, Karen Villholth and Peter Dillon are grateful to the 28 MAR case studies contributors who went to enormous efforts to provide a detailed account from concept to implementation, enabling a cost-benefit analysis and a sustainability assessment reported in the synthesis.  The book showcase that precedent is no prerequisite, and that people at ground level who develop an understanding of their groundwater can design workable solutions to sustainably meet their needs using a wide range of MAR techniques. The MAR book, published in 2021, is a welcoming addition in anticipation to the ‘Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible’ theme, World Water Day 2022.

Download (30 MB): https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000379962

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