Irrigation Industry Households Environmental allocation Managed Aquifer Recharge Surface Water Allocations Constructed Wetlands Drinking
Search our site

Managed Aquifer Recharge

CSIRO has been involved in a number of Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) projects and have a resource page for the technique. MAR is a method of adding a water source, such as recycled water, to aquifers (underground reservoirs) under controlled conditions. The main purpose of aquifer recharge is to store excess water for later use, while improving water quality by recharging the aquifer with high quality water.

The National Water Commission funded a project to develop guidelines for MAR. The national guidelines are now complete and give certainty to the risk assessments used in approving MAR projects and facilitating more widespread use of MAR schemes; preventing the failure of MAR projects; and lending confidence to investors and the public in future MAR schemes.


The Victorian EPA have developed Guidelines for MAR which facilitate safe and sustainable development and operation of MAR schemes; outline the relevant regulatory framework and make the approval process for MAR schemes more efficient and transparent and ensure efficient investment to achieve public health and environmental protection that is consistent with state requirements.

New South Wales

The Replacement Flows Project is part of the Western Sydney Recycled Water Initiative that is a component of the 2006 Metropolitan Water Plan. The project involves the construction and operation of an Advanced Water Treatment Plant (AWTP) and associated works and treats existing tertiary effluent from St Marys, Penrith and Quakers Hill sewage treatment plants (STPs) in north western Sydney at an AWTP located at St Marys. Up to 50 million litres per day (ML/day) of highly treated recycled water is produced and is  substituted, as replacement flows, for water that is currently released from Warragamba Dam for extraction and river health purposes. A detailed monitoring program and environmental assessment is being undertaken

Recharging groundwater supplies in Botany Sand aquifer - Scientists have proposed the use of recycled water as a means of maintaining sustainable levels of groundwater  resources in Sydney. 

South Australia

South Australia EPA also has a Code of Practice for Managed Aquifer Recharge

Western Australia 

Government of Western Australia, Department of Water has a draft policy for Managed Aquifer Recharge

The Water Corporation has a detailed report of of their groundwater replensihment trial in Perth   

MAR research sites described on CSIRO website:

  • A three-year pilot research project trialling the infiltration of recycled water to the Superficial Aquifer in Perth, based at CSIRO’s Floreat headquarters and using treated wastewater supplied from the Water Corporation’s Subiaco Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • The Halls Head indirect reuse project, investigating water quality improvements associated with using infiltration ponds and the feasibility of using covered infiltration galleries.
  • Kwinana Wastewater Reclamation Plant, investigating the impact of high quality, low salt water produced by the plant on aquifer material sourced from the Gnangara Mound.

 The Cottesloe groundwater scheme is described on the Australian Government, Department of  Sustainability, Environment, Water Population and Communities website

Northern Territory

The Ilparpa Swamp rehabilitation project, requires a management strategy to deal with overflow from the Alice Springs reuse project, and also serves to  function to stop this water contaminating Ilparpa swamps. 


United States

Orange County, California. Groundwater Replenishment System is a groundwater recharge recycled water scheme that went online in 2008.

Los Angeles County Government website – LA County uses deep injection of recycled water as a barrier to prevent seawater intrusion of freshwater supplies.

Chino Basin "Watermaster Peace Agreement" Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) Chino, California 

Central Arizona Aquifer Recharge Project, Arizona

Please contact us if you have any other schemes you would like to add to this listing