Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)

Storage and recovery of fresh water in saline aquifers for the agriculture

Posted on 1 June 2011

Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)

The general problem for the horticultural sector is that there is a continuous need for water having an excellent quality. The major problem is that this water requires a low concentration of sodium, whereas in practice most water sources (surface water, groundwater, drinking water) have sodium concentrations which are too high to use for irrigation water. However, in comparison to the other sources, rooftop-collected rainwater has an excellent waterquality and is already used in practice as irrigation water. A solution is to use the rainwater more efficient by storing the fresh water in subsurface sand- and gravel layers (aquifers). In autumn and winter periods the excess of rainwater can be stored in the (saline) aquifers which can be recovered as irrigation water for the horticulture in periods of drought.


The mian issue is that the amount of rainwater is limited, especially in dry periods, while storage of winter surplus has a large space-requirement. Therefore there is a need for supplementary water, commonly provided by brackish water reverse osmosis, causing a brine (salt solution) as waste product.

- Achieve sustainable, self-sufficient fresh water supply for the horticultural sector

- Development of knowledge on storage and recovery of fresh water in saline aquifers


  • Feasibility study on ASR in Dutch Greenport
  • Improved ASR efficiency by selective injection and recovery


The solution can easily be implied in any landscape.

Technologies used

Aquifer Storage Recovery

Project location

Project partners

  • KWR Watercycle Research Institute