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

Call for MAR case studies

Increasing MAR is a key tool to help address the growing demand for water supplies in the United States and globally. NGWA seeks to identify case studies of MAR projects around the United States, as well as North America, for a Groundwater® journal MAR special publication in 2021. Click here for the background and nomination "expression of interest" form to submit your MAR project to be compiled in an MAR compendium. Please submit your case study as soon as possible for consideration.

Selected case study authors will then be asked to produce a 3- to 6-page contribution by May 2021.

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