Presenters: Global experts Russell Martin (WGA - Australia) and Ricky Murray (Groundwater Africa – South Africa)

The aim of this technical training workshop is to provide attendees with an appreciation and practical understanding of the technical, scientific, engineering design, and regulatory issues that need to be addressed when contemplating managed aquifer recharge systems that utilise aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) bores or recharge basins.

 This three-day course, inclusive of a one-day field excursion, will guide participants through the pre-requisites for, and technical feasibility of MAR systems for a variety of water sources, aquifer types, and end uses. The focus of the workshop will be on the key technical issues associated with planning, feasibility assessment, design, construction, operation and performance evaluation of recharge and recovery systems via bores and infiltration basins, two of the most common MAR methods applied worldwide. Policy issues and the relevant guidelines for MAR in Australia and South Africa will be presented.  Case studies from South Africa and Australia will be used to illustrate the key technical issues, performance and scientific considerations that need to be employed to deliver successful, integrated, and sustainable MAR operations.

The workshop is aimed at Municipal water supply engineers / National & Provincial authorities /Water supply engineers / Project Engineers / Geohydrologists across all experience levels (Basic, Intermediate or Advanced). Some prior knowledge of MAR techniques and terminology is useful but not essential to attend this course.

Failure of some MAR systems, can be attributed directly to the poor design of the recharge bores, or infiltration basins, but primarily due to the failure to adequately characterize the receiving aquifer, source and receiving water, poor engineering design of the well equipping or wellhead facilities, or miscommunication concerning the objectives of the MAR system. ASR bores are often quite different from conventional water supply bores requiring greater care in design and during construction. Successful and sustainable recharge via MAR systems requires a collaborative effort by scientists and engineers from across multiple disciplines. The key points to be covered during this workshop include:

  1. Introduction to MAR and MAR methods
    This topic introduces MAR and the various methods and what hydrogeological conditions are suitable for various MAR methods. It will include an overview of the “criteria for success” for MAR systems.
  2.  Integrated Water Management and MAR
    MAR is one of the many tools of integrated water management and this topic will discuss opportunities for strategic water planning to manage urban heat island effect, water security with the aim of transitioning to a water sensitive city. 
  3.  MAR Policy and regulatory framework using examples from South Africa and Australia
    This topic will discuss the regulatory framework, what has and has not worked in Australia and, Africa and internationally. It will identify issues such as “who owns the water” and other key environmental and resource management issues.  
  4.  Economics of MAR
    Is a MAR system the right option economically? This topic will provide a framework for economic evaluation of MAR in comparison to other water management options using some case studies.
  5. Establishing a MAR Scheme Part 1 - Water quality and quantity considerations
    a)Hydrogeochemistry for MAR
    This topic explores water availability (timing) quantity and quality and the need to consider the potential for hydrogeochemical reactions. It provides an overview of various applicable modelling platforms.
  6. Establishing a MAR scheme Part 2 - Technical considerations and applications

a) Bore design
b) Aquifer characterisation
c) Clogging & Clogging management
d) Numerical modelling for MAR

Topic 6 is a detailed topic and draws on over 30 years of experience in Managed Aquifer Recharge. It presents issues to consider for bore design, tests to complete aquifer characterisation for the different MAR approaches, causes of clogging and clogging management. It introduces issues associated with aquifer heterogeneity, safe operating pressures and well field spacing and design as a precursor to the worked exercises in Topic 9. This topic also discusses bore conditioning and when in the lifecycle of a MAR project to undertake numerical modelling.

    7. Establishing a MAR scheme Part 3 – Engineering Considerations.
Engineers and hydrogeologists must work together to deliver a sustainable MAR project. Pump selection is a key issue to be considered because of the operating pressures that may be induced during recharge via wells. Treatment is another key consideration that needs fit for purpose engineering design.

8. Risk Assessment and Management modelling
A risk assessment supports the decision-making process concerning the viability and operation of the MAR system. At different times in the development of the MAR scheme different risk assessments will be required. The risk assessments identify the types of controls (mechanical or operational) that may influence the system design which in turn may influence the economic modelling and MAR system viability.  

9.Case Studies including a training exercise and examples from Namibia
This topic will cover case studies from Australia and Namibia and participants will be required to carry out a worked example incorporating principles of safe operating pressures, expected operating heads during injection and borefield layout. Participants will need to bring a laptop with Microsoft Excel.

10. MAR Operational Issues and their Management including lessons learned during the establishment of over 50 MAR systems.
This topic covers lessons learned from the design, installation, and operation of multiple MAR systems. It provides a summary of the key aspects presented in Topics 1 through 9.

11. MAR resources (with a focus on resources developed for South Africa)
This topic presents an overview of the potential resources that could support MAR development in South Africa.

The workshop format will consist of presentations on the specific topics supported by detailed case studies from Africa and Australia. Other international case studies will be used where relevant. Attendees will be invited to discuss key issues and challenges that they are experiencing. Interactive hypothetical case studies for ASR well and wellhead facilities design will be utilized to stimulate discussion.


Member IAH / GWD Registration fee -early bird R 5,500.00
Member IAH / GWD Full registration fee R 6,000.00
Non Member IAH /GWD Registration fee - early bird R 6,500.00
Non Member IAH /GWD Full registration fee R 7,000.00
Student Member IAH / GWD Registration fee -early bird R 4,500.00
Student Member IAH / GWD Full registration fee R 5,000.00
Student Non Member IAH / GWD Registration fee -early bird R 5,000.00
Student Non Member IAH / GWD Full registration fee R 5,500.00

Early bird registration for the Managed Aquifer Recharge Workshop in Stellenbosch closes soon. Please book seats (and make payment) before the 20th of Feb to get reduced rates. Visit for more information.


National Chairperson: Mr Fanus Fourie
Vice-Chairperson: Ms Nicolette Vermaak
National Treasurer: Mr Yazeed van Wyk
National Secretariat: Dr Jaco Nel
National Coordinator: Ms Elanda Schaffner

Please contact this Committee via [email protected]

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