Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is stipulated by the EU Water Framework Directive to be a supplementary measure to reach good quantitative and good qualitative water status by regulating the water cycle on the basin scale within an integrated water resource management. The EU Groundwater Directive, on the other hand, prohibits any actions that may deteriorate groundwater quality – a demand which needs to be evaluated on a site-by-site basis. Within this context, emerging pollutants are of special concern, since some have shown to be poorly degradable or may only be removed under specific redox conditions.

For decades, MAR has been in use throughout Europe to replenish groundwater resources. The aim has been to supply drinking water, irrigation water or water for industrial use, as well as to establish hydraulic barriers against saltwater intrusion, land subsidence or contamination. However, when it comes to the authorization of new sites, experience in different EU countries like Germany, France and Spain has shown that authorities currently tend to follow a conservative approach, denying the authorization, especially with regard to the infiltration of treated wastewater or storm water. This is in contrast to the long-term experience in river or lake water infiltration that exists in many EU countries, where infiltration water may contain relevant amounts of treated wastewater,  emerging pollutants and contaminants of direct spills.

Therefore, as a key barrier for the deployment of water re-use schemes in Europe, especially for schemes including infiltration as additional purification step, a lack of harmonized and adequate regulation at the European level has been identified by several European research initiatives. Therefore, there is a need to provide unified European guidelines on water quality depending on the targeted reuse application, which may include managed aquifer recharge, based on strong and scientific rationales. DEMEAU will address this policy barrier through demonstrating best practices, clarifying benefits and limitations and providing recommendations related to MAR authorization.

For more information on MAR please have a look at the MAR tool box. The tool box is an information platform for Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and contains theoretical considerations, guidelines for laboratory tests and field investigations, information of MAR case studies, and recommendations for a wide range of various aspects of MAR.


DEMEAU released the second of its series of informational technology brochures.

In June, the DEMEAU project will hold its series of final dissemination events. To tailor the final events to the diverse stakeholders and interest groups of the project, the events will be held...


Is your drinking water clean? Is it safe to drink? The animation illustrates what emerging pollutants are, how they enter water sources and what role individuals can take in improving the quality...



24 to 26 June, 2015
Brussels, Belgium

DEMEAU will be presented by Theo van den Hoven at this year's WssTP Water Innovation Europe conference. On June 24, he will give a brief overview of the project, the technologies and the Unique... more

17 to 18 June, 2015
Neugut, Dübendorf, Switzerland

DEMEAU held the first in its three part series of final events in Zurich, Switzerland on June 17-18, 2015. Hosted on the premises of Eawag just outside of Zurich in Dübendorf, attendees engaged in... more

2 to 3 December, 2014
Barcelona, Spain

The three EU projects funded under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, Globaqua, Cytothreat & Endetech, together with SCARCE from the Consolider Programme (Spanish Ministry of... more

on 02/10/2014
Cornellà de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

On October 2 2014, a DEMEAU utility event took place at the premises of Aigües de Barcelona. It was the first utility event that combined the presentation of research and implementation of Managed... more

21 to 26 September, 2014
Lisbon, Portugal
19 to 20 May, 2014
KWR premises, Niewegein, the Netherlands

The second annual Project Steering Board meeting of the FP7 project DEMEAU took place on May 19th and 20th at the premises of KWR Watercycle Research Institute in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands.... more

on 05/12/2013
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... more

21 to 22 November, 2013
Brussels, Belgium

The DEMEAU WA1 project partners AMPHOS21 and Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin were requested to present their work at the Hydrogeology workshop organized by the European Federation of Geologists (... more

14 to 15 November, 2013
Barcelona, Spain

The Catalan Water Partnership aims to enhance the strategical reflexion with all stakeholders in the water sector in Catalunya and wants to foster the further internationalisation and innovation... more

15 to 19 October, 2013
Beijing, China

First results from the Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) catalogue were presented during the 8th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR8) in Beijing (China) to the scientific... more