Accelerating Aquifer Storage & Recovery in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Science Center Objects

At the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development, USGS is helping regional partners manage scarce groundwater resources, and improve water supply, using artificial recharge methods. 

Background

Aquifers are important sources of water in the arid Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, especially during droughts and dry seasons. However, many aquifers are under stress due to high rates of pumping and low rates of natural recharge. Water supply can be improved by use of various methods collectively referred to as Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR), in which captured stormwater runoff or treated wastewater is recharged to depleted aquifers. ASR is a practical and cost-effective solution to recover millions of cubic meters of water that would otherwise be lost.

ASR is currently underutilized in the MENA region due to the high cost of site identification and difficulty matching ASR technologies to site conditions. The goal of this activity is to improve water security in the MENA region by accelerating ASR. This activity will accelerate adoption of ASR by applying and disseminating new methods for mapping and identifying high potential ASR locations using remote sensing, geospatial data, and water availability analyses.

Objectives

The overall goal is to improve water security in the MENA region by accelerating aquifer storage and recovery (ASR). Specific objectives are:

  • Demonstrate new methods to identify high potential ASR sites
  • Map ASR potential in two study areas for testing & replication in other MENA countries
  • Build the capacity of MENA water institutions to develop non-conventional water resources