Working Group: 60 years history of MAR


Peter Dillon, Australia ( and Pieter Stuyfzand, the Netherlands.


To produce a journal paper in Hydrogeology Journal that summarizes 60 years of experience in research and practice of MAR around the world.  National summaries are posted on this web site.  Technology contributions have been received for river bed modifications, river bank filtration, infiltration basins and recharge wells. Anyone willing to fill a gap concerning national summaries of MAR please contact Peter Dillon.

Results to date

A paper was published in the Hydrogeology Journal as an open access paper supported by UNESCO as a contribution to IHP VIII on line in September 2018.  It can be downloaded from   along with two sets of supplementary material (a) a set of 16 national contributions that summarize MAR development  from the 1960s to 2015 in the countries listed below where individual country reports can be downloaded, and (b) a set of photographs and descriptions of various examples of MAR projects.

Dillon, P., Stuyfzand, P., Grischek, T., Lluria, M., Pyne, R.D.G., Jain, R.C., Bear, J., Schwarz, J., Wang, W., Fernandez, E., Stefan, C., Pettenati, M., van der Gun, J., Sprenger, C., Massmann, G., Scanlon, B.R., Xanke, J., Jokela, P., Zheng, Y., Rossetto, R., Shamrukh, M., Pavelic, P.,  Murray, E., Ross, A., Bonilla Valverde, J.P., Palma Nava, A., Ansems, N., Posavec, K., Ha, K., Martin, R. and Sapiano, M. (2018). Sixty Years of Global Progress in Managed Aquifer Recharge. Hydrogeology Journal


The last 60 years has seen unprecedented groundwater extraction and overdraft as well as development of new technologies for water treatment that together drive the advance in intentional groundwater replenishment known as managed aquifer recharge (MAR). This paper is the first known attempt to quantify the volume of MAR at global scale, and to illustrate the advancement of all the major types of MAR and relate these to research and regulatory advancements. Faced with changing climate and rising intensity of climate extremes, MAR is an increasingly important water management strategy, alongside demand management, to maintain, enhance and secure stressed groundwater systems and to protect and improve water quality. During this time, scientific research—on hydraulic design of facilities, tracer studies, managing clogging, recovery efficiency and water quality changes in aquifers—has underpinned practical improvements in MAR and has had broader benefits in hydrogeology. Recharge wells have greatly accelerated recharge, particularly in urban areas and for mine water management. In recent years, research into governance, operating practices, reliability, economics, risk assessment and public acceptance of MAR has been undertaken. Since the 1960s, implementation of MAR has accelerated at a rate of 5%/year, but is not keeping pace with increasing groundwater extraction. Currently, MAR has reached an estimated 10 km3/year, ~2.4% of groundwater extraction in countries reporting MAR (or ~1.0% of global groundwater extraction). MAR is likely to exceed 10% of global extraction, based on experience where MAR is more advanced, to sustain quantity, reliability and quality of water supplies.


The working group’s task was completed with the publication of the paper and so the working group has been dissolved. However, new national/regional contributions can be uploaded on this web page at any time via the contact above, to summarise the ways in which MAR is used, the growth in uptake, the methods and sources of water used and the annual volume of MAR undertaken.

Country                    Authors of contribution

Australia                                 2016            Peter Dillon

China                                     2016             Weiping Wang and Jinchao Li

Croatia                                   2017             Kristijan Posavec

Finland                                   2017             P. Jokela, V. Kurki and T.S. Katko

France                                    2017             M. Pettenati, G. Picot-Colbeaux and A. Togola

Germany                                2017             Gudrun Massmann

Israel                                      2016             Joshua Schwarz and Jacob Bear

Italy                                        2017              Rudi Rossetto

Jordan                                    2017             Julian Xanke, Jochen Klinger and Nico Goldscheider

Korea                                     2017              Kyoochul Ha

Latin America & Caribbean    2017             Jose Bonilla Valverde (SWARM Special Issue)

The Netherlands                    2016              Pieter Stuyfzand

Qatar                                      2017              Abdulaziz A. Al-Muraikhi and Mohamed Shamrukh

South East Asia                     2016              Paul Pavelic

Southern Africa                      2016              Ricky Murray

Spain                                      2016              Enrique Fernandez Escalante

… more countries will be posted if summaries are volunteered for consideration …

See also the outcomes of working group on Global inventory of MAR and the IGRAC MAR Portal where information can be found on MAR projects around the world.