Assessing the potential for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) of the Cape Flats Aquifer
Keywords:managed aquifer recharge (MAR), stormwater, Cape Flats Aquifer
This paper discusses the potential use of ‘managed aquifer recharge’ (MAR) in Cape Town to provide additional water supplies to the city that are fit-for-purpose. The paper investigates the feasibility of implementing MAR by simulating the artificial recharge of winter stormwater into the Cape Flats Aquifer (CFA), an extensive sandy, unconfined aquifer that covers most of metropolitan Cape Town’s urban landscape. The objective is to assess the storage capacity and supply potential of two MAR sites by modelling various scenarios in order to determine the feasibility of MAR as a viable strategy for achieving improved water security by augmenting groundwater water supply. The selected scenarios demonstrated that MAR could be used to minimise the risk of seawater intrusion and maximise the amount of water available for abstraction from the CFA. Six MAR scenarios provided strong evidence to suggest that there is sufficient storage capacity within the CFA for using stormwater to improve the wellfield yield in two regions of the CFA and which can sustainably yield approximately 18 Mm3 per year. The study concluded that the use of stormwater or treated wastewater could be deliberately used to recharge the CFA and as a viable option in support of the City of Cape Town’s intention to establish a water-resilient city by 2030.
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Copyright (c) 2021 B Mauck, K Winter
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