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Australian National University (2015)

Assessing the feasibility of managed aquifer recharge under uncertainty

Arshad, Muhammad

Titre : Assessing the feasibility of managed aquifer recharge under uncertainty

Auteur : Arshad, Muhammad

Université de soutenance : Australian National University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2015

This thesis presents a new approach, with application, for assessing the feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) under uncertain conditions. MAR is the intentional storage and treatment of water in aquifers for future use or storage conservation. A few studies indicate that MAR can be more profitable than surface storage and other alternatives. But the studies have substantial weaknesses. Firstly, they do not take consideration of uncertainty into account. Various types of uncertainties often exist such as whether MAR systems will remain operationally effective and profitable in the future, because long term feasibility of MAR depends on many uncertain hydrogeologic and financial variables. A second weakness has been the lack of a quantitative, integrated approach. The two gaps have been identified as the two major methodological needs for assessing the feasibility of MAR. These methodological gaps are conjointly addressed in the thesis by using an integrated and quantitative approach that considers a range of values for influencing variables from the distinct but complementing disciplines of hydrology, hydrogeology and financial economics. Hydrologic and hydrogeologic feasibility is assessed by examining source water availability from the frequency of large flood events and by considering hydrogeologic opportunities and constraints of storing water underground. Financial feasibility is assessed through cost-benefit analysis. Uncertainties are assessed by identification of cross-over points of many hydrogeologic and economic variables using break-even analysis


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