This report, an output from the DFID-funded project Augmenting Groundwater Resources by Aquifer Recharge (AGRAR), provides a synthesis of research findings from three locations in India where Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) forms a significant part of watershed development. In each location project partners, working with support from the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the Institute of Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), instrumented and monitored recharge structures and the surrounding microcatchments and carried out livelihoods surveys to evaluate the impact of MAR.
Although the report adds value to current debates around the role of MAR, the study's limitations need to be highlighted. Specifically, detailed monitoring was carried out in only three locations and over two monsoon seasons; the project was too limited in time and scale to assess the long term impacts of MAR across a range of different physical and socio-economic environments. At the same time, the findings provided reasonably good insights into 'what happens' to the water from artificial recharge structures, especially highlighting the variability across different environments in the processes that take place as a result of MAR.
The insights and recommendations of this report are intended to stimulate debate around the policy and therefore aimed at a wide audience, including (a) policy makers involved in the watershed development and water resource management fields; (b) donors and research organisations involved in programme design and technical support; and (c) organisations directly involved in the implementation of MAR activities at field-level, including NGOs. The report includes an Annex summarising the project case studies.
Keyworth, Nottingham; British Geological Survey, 82 pp.
Managed Aquifer Recharge: an assessment of its role and effectiveness in watershed management. Final report for DFID KAR project R8169, Augmenting Groundwater Resources by Artificial Recharge - AGRAR.