Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) has been considered for a long time as an important technology to combat the adverse effects of Climate Change (CC). This is not a gratuitous claim. In this article, the authors will support this statement on the basis of real sites, indicators and international cases. Examples from five continents together with figures and trends will demonstrate that MAR, in combination with other measures of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) are able to conduct adaptation and even mitigation activities against climate change challenges.
The main effects of climate change are raising the average atmospheric temperature, decreasing average annual precipitation, causing extreme weather and inducing sea level rise. These result in a series of negative impacts reflected in an increase in certain parameters or events, such as evaporation, evapotranspiration, water demand, fire risk, floods, droughts and saltwater intrusion; and a decrease of others, such as in water resources availability, run-off, modified wetland areas and hydro electrical power production.
MAR is a flexible tool with a wide array of techniques that can address not only different objectives, but also a mix of goals. Examples taken from different MAR systems all around the world have been selected to show their effectiveness to mitigate the problems previously mentioned. Solutions include underground storage, temperature decrease, soil humidity increase, reclaimed water infiltration, punctual and directed infiltration, self-purification, off-river storage, wetland restoration and/or establishment, gravity flow water distribution, power saving, eventual recharge of extreme flows, multi-annual management and intrusion barrier wells, as most remarkable activities and effects.
As success must be measured, some indicators have been adopted or designed so as to calculate and quantify the actual influence of these solutions, their trends and even some benchmarking actions have been applied to compare the general evolution from different places. These have been expressed in the form of volumes, lengths, areas, percentages, grades, euros, CO2 emissions or years. Therefore, MAR demonstrably supports its usefulness in battling climate change impacts in a variety of environments and circumstances.