Managed Aquifer Recharge in Europe – Challenge or Opportunity for the Environment?

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5 December, 2013
BWB, Berlin-Tegel

On December 5, 2013, the first DEMEAU utility event in combination with a workshop was held at Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) in Berlin Tegel. Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) through bank filtration or pond infiltration has a long tradition in Berlin. The city has been producing its drinking water since more than 150 years through bank filtration. Against the background of global changes, aquifer storage has become relevant in other contexts as well, like preventing sea-water intrusion or sustaining groundwater levels. Environmental aspects, however, need to be taken into account as well, especially issues regarding groundwater quality.

The DEMEAU workshop, organised by the Berlin Center of Competence for Water (KWB) together with BWB (Berliner Wasserbetriebe) and Ecologic Institute, brought together stakeholders from policy, science and practice.

The workshop was introduced by the leader of the DEMEAU work area on MAR, Gesche Grützmacher. Jens Feddern, head of water supply at BWB welcomed the participants. Afterwards, Regina Gniss (KWB) gave a general introduction to the Berlin water system. Subsequently, Andreas Deffke (BWB) presented the Implementation of MAR in Berlin. Addressing the overall goal of DEMEAU, the reduction of emerging pollutants in water through advanced waste water treatment, Alexander Sperlich (BWB) gave a presentation on balancing emerging pollutants in Berlin’s water cycle.

Despite the hostile December weather, the international participants joined for a field visit on the infiltration ponds and bank filtration sites led by Mr. Beckert (BWB).

After the excursion, the international guests gave an outlook into the importance of MAR in three European cases. Jordi Martín (Aigues de Barcelona) explained that MAR in Barcelona is crucial to handle times of excessive water supply followed by dry periods. In France, MAR is used to protect the aquifer that is used for drinking water from the river Rhone (Marc Alary, Veolia). Hein van de Jonge from Dunea in the Netherlands explained the use of dunes for MAR purposes.

Subsequently, scientist from the DEMEAU consortium presented current project results to the audience. Stephan Hannappel (HYDOR) introduced the catalogue of European MAR applications that comprises data of many European MAR sites in one database. The identification of the optimum conditions to remove emerging pollutants in MAR systems was presented by Ester Vilanova (AMPHOS21). Christoph Sprenger (KWB) concluded the workshop with his talk on an approach for assessing long term effects of MAR on ambient groundwater resources.

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Sites and Institutions: 

Ecologic Institute
KWB – Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin
Berliner Wasserbetriebe

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