Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and Aquifer Storage, Transfer and Recovery (ASTR) systems have been implemented worldwide during the last 30 years. Despite their benefits and ubiquity, they are commonly designed under the advice of experts with very specific criteria, following their own experience and know-how. In this context, the development of global tools is crucial in order to establish general methodologies for the design and feasibility assessment of this kind of projects, and hence, optimize time and economic resources.
The objective of this tool is to assess the potential feasibility of an ASR/ASTR system by giving the user the most accurate information from the data introduced into AquaStoRe, trying to be practical and maintain objectivity on the final result.
AquaStoRe structure, which was developed on a Microsoft Excel environment, drives the user through 3 stages that evaluate separately socioeconomic, hydrogeological and hydrochemical aspects of ASR systems. The evaluation methodology of those aspects is based on the assessment of 63 indicators, carried out through a multicriteria analysis (MC) that gives to each indicator a value weighted by a specific factor for every indicator. The tool also assesses the reliability of the data used to fulfill the tool requirements.
AquaStoRe went through a calibration process to confirm the correct functioning of every feature. The calibration was performed in two phases: i) the first was the evaluation and updating of indicators’ definitions and ranges by a panel of skilled professionals (Expert Criteria); ii) the second was the calibration of AquaStoRe’s comparison functionality by introducing real data and analyzing the final result.
The final result of this task is a software tool that gives support to decision makers when evaluating the feasibility of ASR/ASTR projects and suitability of ASR/ASTR sites. It synthesizes the relevant information available for each of the alternatives, processes it for the user and creates a series of plots and tables that summarize and evaluate the data of alternative. The results of AquaStoRe give an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the possible alternatives and, moreover, track data gaps and deficiencies on the information and pre-design of the ASR/ASTR project.
As further work, an improvement of the tool incorporating criteria on water safety plan into MAR schemes with regenerated water, as well as hydrogeochemical simulation via Phreeqc-Excel open software has been conceptualized.