About the AWRCoE Knowledge Hub Research Projects List of Publications Corporate Publications

Banner 5

Return to Knowledge Hub – Guidelines and Validation 

Economic Value and Assessment  Technology and Treatment  Guidelines and Validation

In managed aquifer recharge (MAR) water is intentionally added to an aquifer for later use.

In Australia, more than 1750 gigalitres of recycled water per year (three times the capacity of Sydney Harbour) could be available for aquifer recharge.

This project aimed to expand the use of water recycled via aquifers in suitable urban, rural and regional areas and evaluated two demonstration projects that use different approaches to MAR:
1. Buried infiltration galleries in Floreat, Perth
2. Soil aquifer treatment basins in Alice Springs.

Soil clogging and the nitrogen load to the receiving aquifer can impede the uptake of MAR for water recycling in Australia were the main research focus. Overcoming the technical barriers, managed aquifer recharge could help water utilities, government agencies and the community:

  • increase the resilience of water supplies
  • provide water in seasons of high demand
  • replenish exploited aquifers
  • prevent salt water intrusion
  • protect groundwater dependent ecosystems.


Demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of recycled water MAR schemes in Australia, and solving soil clogging and nutrient removal issues, will increase investment confidence
in new projects. Results will improve National Water Quality Management Strategy guidelines, state guidelines, and MAR selection guides. National guidance for MAR schemes using
recycled water, based on case studies of experience and economic assessment are now available.

Managed aquifer recharge and recycling options Managed aquifer recharge and recycling options (14591 KB)


An economic assessment tool, funded by the Centre was applied to six Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) projects using recycled water. It found most are economically
viable, with favourable benefits to cost ratios, often due to avoided costs compared with above ground storage, wastewater treatment, or other water options.
Six case MAR studies using recycled water, reported costs from $0.88-$4.19 per kilolitre with target recharge volumes from 28 to 14,000 ML per year. Economic benefit was
valued up to $8.50 per kilolitre.

MARRO Case studies MARRO Case studies (5712 KB)



Lead organisation: CSIRO Land and Water Flagship
Partner organisations: WA WaterCorp
Power and Water Corporation (PowerWater NT)
Department of Land Resource Management (NT)
Barwon Water
City West Water
SA Water


About the AWRCoE Knowledge Hub Research Projects List of Publications Corporate Publications