DEMO Site 7: Menashe Infiltration Basin, Hadera, Israel
In the last decade, desalination of sea water made it possible to facilitate a stable supply of potable water that is almost free of the stress related to the variability in the natural recharge of reservoirs. In Israel, three currently operating desalination plants plus two new desalination plants under construction will by 2014 reach the production capacity of 585×106 m3 of potable water/yr (1.6×106 m3/day), which will make the sea the main source for domestic water supply in the country (~75%). The desalination plants were built under build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts with the private sector which is currently - in addition to less dry periods during the last time - leading to production of excess water. Water authorities aim at seasonal storage as well as aquifer storage recovery (ASR) of large volumes of these surpluses in the adjacent coastal aquifer via artificial recharge.
The MAR activity at this site aims both at seasonal storage and ASR of desalinated sea water. At first stage, infiltration of water with low salinity (chlorine treated) desalinated sea water from the Hadera facility through sandy infiltration basins will be monitored at the Menashe site. Different aspects will be tested along the MAR activity: (i) unsaturated zone and aquifer dynamics of the MAR process will be monitored and modelled, (ii) mixing and migration of the desalinated water body will be studied, and (iii) geochemical aspects of infiltration of the low salinity water will be examined (dissolution/precipitation processes related to hydraulic property changes). As the desalinated water is treated with chlorine, disinfection by-products that may develop due to the MAR operation will be investigated. At the second stage, MAR of desalinated sea water through injection wells will be tested.
To record the aspects listed above, monitoring and sampling equipment will be installed in the unsaturated and saturated zone beneath the infiltration basin. Field studies are accompanied by lab experiments that are aimed to mimic long-term operation (years) in a short-time period (weeks) under different operation conditions, and by process- and data-based numerical modelling studies for scenario analyses.
It is expected that this pilot operation will facilitate the know-how for establishing proper guidelines for aquifer storage as a tool to deal with temporal surpluses of desalinated water and demonstrate the viability of this approach. Direct industrial implication would be the definition of tailored post-treatment recommendations for desalination plants, most effective infiltration schemes, and proper monitoring strategies to assure long-term performance.
|Infiltration of surplus desalinated water at the Menashe basin at a rate of around 5000 m3/hr; January 2015 (Photo: Y. Katz, Mekorot)|
Aquifer Recharge as a
Solution to Water Scarcity
An EU FP7 Project
Coordination & Contact:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schüth
Darmstadt Technical University
Institute of Applied Geosciences
The MARSOL project receives funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under grant agreement no 619120.
This project website reflects only the authors' views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.