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Assessing the efficiency of a coastal Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) system in Cyprus

Tzoraki Ourania, Dokou Zoi, Christodoulou George I., Gaganis Petros, Karatzas Georgios

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Year 2018
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation O. Tzoraki, Z. Dokou, G. Christodoulou, P. Gaganis and G. Karatzas, "Assessing the efficiency of a coastal Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) system in Cyprus," Sci. Total Environ., vol. 626, pp. 875-886, Jun. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.160
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Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is becoming an attractive water management option, with more than 223 sites operating in European countries. The quality of the produced water, available for drinking or irrigation processes is strongly depended on the aquifer's hydrogeochemical characteristics and on the MAR system design and operation. The objective of this project is the assessment of the operation efficiency of a MAR system in Cyprus. The coupling of alternative methodologies is used such as water quality monitoring, micro-scale sediment sorption experiments, simulation of groundwater flow and phosphate and copper transport in the subsurface using the FEFLOW model and evaluation of the observed change in the chemical composition of water due to mixing using the geochemical model PHREEQC. The above methodology is tested in the Ezousa MAR project in Cyprus, where treated effluent from the Paphos Waste Water Treatment Plant, is recharged into the aquifer through five sets of artificial ponds along the riverbed. Additionally, groundwater is pumped for irrigation purposes from wells located nearby. A slight attenuation of nutrients is observed, whereas copper in groundwater is overcoming the EPA standards. The FEFLOW simulations reveal no effective mixing in some intermediate infiltration ponds, which is validated by the inverse modeling simulation of the PHREEQC model. Based on the results, better control of the infiltration capacity of some of the ponds and increased travel times are some suggestions that could improve the efficiency of the system.