Stefan, C., Junghanns, R., Glass, J., Sallwey, J., Barquero, F., Fichtner, T., Schönekerl, C. (2019)
Using free web-based tools for strengthening capacities and promotion of MAR.
Presentation at the 10th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge. Madrid, Spain, 20-24 May 2019


 

Successful implementation of technical solutions for water resources management is not possible without adequate development of institutional and human capacities. In case of managed aquifer recharge (MAR), despite its apparent simplicity, the uptake of subsurface water storage is still rather low at international scale, much lower than other conventional storage solutions such as surface reservoirs. The reasons include insufficient data on MAR technological costs, site-specific hydrogeological characterisation, lack of regulations and, most important, weak institutional and human capacity. To address these challenges, the research group INOWAS at Technical University of Dresden, Germany, developed over the past four years a set of tools and instruments for planning, assessment and optimisation of MAR schemes. For the maximisation of their outreach and simplicity of use, the entire collection of 22 tools of different complexities was compiled on a free, web-based platform available at: https://www.inowas.com). The platform enabled the INOWAS group to engage in two types of capacity development activities:

  1. general promotion of MAR through the development of an integrated knowledge base with detailed descriptions and best-practice examples of most common MAR techniques; and
  2. demonstration of MAR benefits through the simulation of multiple management scenarios using empirical, analytical and numerical modeling tools.

The general objectives of the training activities address the following challenges: i) how to design nature-inspired water management solutions in order to promote sustainable urbanisation; ii) how to restore degraded ecosystems due to groundwater overexploitation and how to increase water availability in times of high demand; and iii) how to use smart water management strategies for the development of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The present paper brings evidence on how internet and computer technology (ICT) can contribute to MAR promotion and summarises the experiences collected from capacity developing activities implemented by the INOWAS group in a series of international summer schools, interactive workshops and short training courses covering the main aspects of MAR planning and operation.