Managed Aquifer Recharge

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is the purposeful recharge of water to aquifers for subsequent recovery or for environmental benefit. MAR is one of the tools used by water managers, large pumpers, developers, and others to provide water supply resiliency, helping balance out the seasonal and periodic decreases in water availability with increasing demands. We have gotten very good at pumping the water out of our underground reservoirs, or aquifers. And, now, MAR, which is a well-developed groundwater technology, has become increasingly important to enhance our abilities to increase recharge for water security.

MAR comes in different forms from large-scale capital projects involving hundreds of acres of infiltration ponds…to wellfields of aquifer storage and recovery wells…to flooding permanent crops seasonally…to low-impact development including permeable pavement, raingardens, rooftop rainfall capture and recharge, and slow-it-spread-it-sink-it landscaping techniques.

NGWA supports increasing MAR safely and cost-effectively, and has developed a multicomponent initiative outlined here to highlight MAR as an important groundwater technology and provide useful information to the industry and well owners.

Current activities for your participation

MAR at 2020 Groundwater Week/Groundwater Summit
  1. NGWA’s 2020 Groundwater Week/Summit will feature a special session on MAR Tuesday, December 8 with Part 1 scheduled to take place 1-2:40 p.m. EST and Part 2 from 3:40-5:40 p.m. EST.
  2. MAR extended learning workshops are also planned for Wednesday, December 9, at 1 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. EST.
  3. The NGWA MAR Work Group will hold its meeting on Friday, December 11, from 1:15-2:15 p.m. EST. Discussion will focus on identifying and documenting U.S. MAR case studies, as well as cases from Canada and Mexico in collaboration with the Groundwater Protection Council, to be published in the NGWA journal, Groundwater®.

Click here to access the complete schedule of events.

Call for MAR case studies

NGWA seeks to identify case studies of MAR projects around the United States, as well as internationally. Click here for the background and nomination "expression of interest" form to submit your MAR project to be compiled in an MAR compendium.

MAR Work Group

The MAR Work Group is an NGWA Government Affairs Committee-initiated work group that was started in February 2020.

MAR-related news

Questions about NGWA MAR activities?

If you have questions about NGWA activities related to MAR, please send them with the subject line “MAR Question” to