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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water 3 Hydrogeological Considerations Development of an aquifer conceptual model through appropriate characterization of the physical underground storage system is a critical step in the development of a sustainable managed underground storage (MUS) system. In addition, analytical and/or numerical models can also be developed to evaluate water flow and solute transport in the aquifer and assess its potential as an MUS reservoir. To design a storage reservoir, engineers and hydrogeologists must have a good understanding of the hydrological properties of the aquifers to be used for storage and of the associated hydraulics. In particular, a successful MUS system design is predicated on answers to the following questions about the aquifer physical system and its hydraulics (including factors affecting success as listed by ASCE, 2001; Bouwer, 2002): What are the spatial constraints of the aquifer (basin extent, basin depth, aquifer thickness, interlenses, other boundary conditions)? What geological units are available for storage, and what are the hydraulic properties of these units (hydraulic conductivity, porosity, storage coefficient) (e.g., confined or unconfined aquifer, specific yield or storativity, hydraulic conductivities/transmissivities and hydraulic gradients, degree of homogeneity and isotropy, hydrocompaction, interaquifer hydraulic connection)? What temporal variations will affect the system (seasonal, climatic)? What are the short- and long-term impacts of the MUS system on the aquifer matrix, groundwater flow, or surface waters? Additional decisions about the MUS system that significantly influence, or are influenced by, hydraulic characterization or aquifer attributes include the following: Will the water be recharged through spreading basins, wells, or other methods? Will the stored water be recovered by neighboring production wells (single function), recharge wells (i.e., aquifer storage and recovery [ASR] wells), or through gains in stream baseflow? How much of the stored water is intended to be recovered? Successful design also requires identification of the source of water to be recharged and the anticipated uses of recovered water, which are discussed in other chapters. Hydrochemical and biological processes critical to MUS system
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water success are described in Chapter 4. Factors that can preclude MUS development include low available aquifer storage; low hydraulic conductivity; high probability of clogging during recharge; anticipated loss of recharge water; anticipated degradation of water quality due to physical, chemical, or biological processes, and anticipated changes in patterns of potentiometric gradients that would adversely affect existing water supplies. The significance of these factors must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the operational goals of the MUS system, some of these negative factors may be acceptable provided regulatory requirements are met. Addressed briefly in Chapter 6 and not covered here are operational issues that affect MUS viability. This chapter reviews the status of knowledge on the hydrogeology of recharge, storage and recovery processes as they relate to MUS. The chapter includes discussion of the hydrological properties of the geological formation to be used for storage, the aquifer boundary conditions, recharge and recovery methods to be used, and potential impacts of the MUS system on the groundwater flow and aquifer integrity. In addition, knowledge gaps and research needs related to the hydrogeology of MUS systems are identified. AQUIFER TYPES AND CHARACTERISTICS IN THE CONTEXT OF MUS SYSTEMS A requirement for the success of an MUS system is a comprehensive understanding of the hydrogeological properties of the aquifer to be used for storage. An aquifer is a layer, formation, or group of formations of permeable rock or sediment saturated with water and with a degree of permeability that allows water to be withdrawn or injected (Fetter, 2001; Marsily, 1986; Lohman et al., 1972). Sand and gravel layers, sandstone, and carbonate rocks usually form aquifers. This section describes hydraulic and hydrogeologic properties of aquifers, including flow and storage characteristics, and discusses aquifer classification with emphasis on considerations that are important to MUS. Aquifer Classifications Aquifer classification is generally based on composition, degree of confinement, and geometry at local and regional scales. Each of these is described below.
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water Lithology (Composition) There are 66 principal aquifers—that is, regionally extensive aquifers or aquifer systems that have the potential to be used as a source of potable water—in the United States (Maupin and Barber, 2005). Each principal aquifer is classified into one of five lithologic types: unconsolidated and semiconsolidated sand and gravel aquifers; sandstone aquifers; interbedded sandstone and carbonate rock aquifers; carbonate rock aquifers; and igneous and metamorphic-rock aquifers. The total withdrawals of fresh water from these aquifers were estimated at 93.3 million acre-feet (83,300 million gallon per day [Mgal/d]) for the year 2000 (Maupin and Barber, 2005). About 92 percent of the total fresh groundwater withdrawals were used for irrigation, public supply, and self-supplied industrial applications. Withdrawals from the unconsolidated and semiconsolidated sand and gravel aquifers, including the High Plains aquifer, Central Valley aquifer system, Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer, and Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers, accounted for 80 percent (or 62,400 Mgal/d) of total fresh groundwater withdrawal for the above listed uses. In 2000, carbonate rock aquifers, primarily from the Floridian aquifer system, igneous and metamorphic rock aquifers (primarily the Snake-River Plain aquifer), and sandstone aquifers (primarily from the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system) provided 8 percent, 6 percent, and 2percent of total fresh groundwater withdrawal, respectively, from all aquifers in 2000. In the western United States, MUS activities have been conducted primarily within unconsolidated alluvial fan, floodplain, coastal plain, and inland valley deposits. However, in other regions, consolidated aquifers are also used for MUS, such as carbonate aquifers in Florida and fractured igneous-metamorphic rocks in the northwestern United States. All types of aquifers have been used for ASR, but in general ASR is easier to manage in consolidated aquifers where the formation provides a competent well without the requirement for screen and gravel pack (Dillon and Molloy, 2006). Carbonate aquifers show offsetting effects of carbonate dissolution on well clogging (Herczeg et al., 2004), but as discussed later in the chapter may have problems with mixing of injected and native waters. Fractured rock aquifers, even low-yielding ones, have been used successfully for ASR (Murray and Tredoux, 2002) with injection rates in some wells exceeding airlift yields. Coarse-grained sand and gravel are also very suitable for ASR storage targets, but care needs to be taken with well construction and completion, to reduce as much as possible the concentrations of organic and colloidal material introduced into the well. Storage in fine-grained unconsolidated media is more problematic and requires water with very low nutrient and colloidal concentrations in order to avoid chronic and irrecoverable depletion of the specific capacity of the ASR well. Table 3-1 summarizes properties of major types of aquifers. The shape and extent of these aquifer types is governed by the geological history of the region, including the depositional environment and subsequent deformation (if any).
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water TABLE 3-1 Properties of Major Types of Aquifers Matrix Composition Confinement Porosity Type Carbonate C, S, U Dual porosity—intergranular & joints, fractures, solution conduits Unconsolidated and consolidated siliciclastic sediments C, S, U Intergranular Fractured or jointed igneous, metamorphic C, S, U Joints, fractures Fractured sedimentary rocks C, S, U Dual porosity—intergranular and fracture NOTES: Confined (C), semiconfined (S), and unconfined (U) including water table and may or may not be perched. Degree of Confinement There are three aquifer conditions with respect to confinement: unconfined, semiconfined, and confined. Aquifer confinement affects or limits methods of recharge, storage, and recovery. Therefore, MUS system performance varies for these different aquifer conditions. Importantly, confined and semiconfined aquifers can be recharged only by wells. Unconfined aquifers can generally be recharged by either wells or by surface spreading methods. .Unconfined aquifers allow flow of water from the land surface into the aquifer (i.e., recharge). Therefore, unconfined aquifers are naturally unprotected from contamination due to a lack of intervening low-hydraulic-conductivity units, known as confining layers between the land surface and the aquifer. Unconfined aquifers are also referred to as water table aquifers because the upper surface of the saturated zone is at equilibrium with the atmospheric pressure. This surface is called the water table, which often follows the land surface topography with variations due to recharge and boundary conditions. As a result, the water table may reflect hills, valleys, and plains. Localized recharge may also cause mounding. In very highly permeable aquifers the water table is more controlled by the presence of boundary conditions, such as lakes and rivers. In general, unconfined aquifers receive more recharge in upland areas where precipitation infiltrates into the ground, as well as near water bodies where seepage occurs. Discharge from an unconfined aquifer to the ground surface in low-lying areas usually occurs at springs or the bottom of surface waters (Fitts, 2002). Therefore, groundwater in unconfined aquifers interacts with surface water via several points or areas of connection, (e.g. rivers, lakes, wetlands, springs, and along coastal zones). By observing the hydraulic gradient, one can determine if a water body is “gaining” or “losing.” For example, a gaining
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water stream is recharged by the aquifer, whereas a losing stream discharges to the aquifer. Unlike unconfined aquifers, confined aquifers are recognized by being isolated by a saturated or partially saturated low-hydraulic-conductivity, or “confining,” layer on top of the aquifer. Rock or clay can form low-permeability barriers that impede or constrain the flow of water into and out of the aquifer. These confining layers allow pressure to build up in the aquifer system. An artesian well results when the pressure in a confined aquifer is sufficiently high that the groundwater in a well rises above the land surface. The water elevation in a well open to a particular point in a confined aquifer is known as the piezometric head at that point, which is the sum of the pressure head and the elevation head (Bear, 1988). The two-dimensional surface that is defined by mapping the head across the extent of a confined aquifer is the potentiometric surface or pressure surface. Natural recharge zones where a confined aquifer becomes unconfined are important aquifer characteristics. In confined aquifers, these areas are created when the geological confining layers are absent, exposing the aquifer to infiltration. If a well is drilled in a confined aquifer, the water in this well will rise to the elevation of the recharge area. Last, semiconfined or leaky aquifers are saturated aquifers underlying a low-permeability layer, or aquitard. The low permeability of the confining unit allows for limited recharge into and discharge out of this aquifer. The degree of confinement can vary with natural variability of the confining unit: composition (i.e., clay content), pinchouts, or localized discontinuities (i.e., breaches due to sinkholes or fractures). Geometry and Scale Conceptual knowledge of aquifer geometry at both regional and local scales is required in order to identify boundary conditions, which are important constraints on an MUS application. Aquifers within the hydrogeologic framework of a given region occur either closed or open basins. An aquifer at the margin between the land and the ocean exemplifies an open basin condition. Open basins that reflect a broad shallow paleocoastal margin depositional environment for sediment deposition may contain sheet-like strata comprising the storage zones; hence, the lateral boundary conditions can often be considered infinite. On the other hand, vertical boundary conditions exert an important control on the behavior of the system in this hydrogeological setting, especially with regard to ASR. If the anticipated storage formation is located in a closed basin, almost all of the recharged water can be retained within the basin except water lost through evapotranspiration in discharge areas. Most alluvial aquifers in the southwest United States, for example, are located in closed basins. These aquifers are surrounded by bedrocks and receive limited recharge from the mountain fronts or
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water captured flow from the surface water system. Under natural conditions, water table slopes and groundwater movement will tend to conform to the surface topography. In many inland basins, this results in drainage from the basin at its lower end. Under such conditions, depths to groundwater will tend to decrease toward the downstream portions of these basins, particularly if there are geologic constrictions to reduce the rate of movement. If the water table intercepts the surface, discharge will occur either directly to surface water or as evapotranspiration via phreatophytes. This results in a loss of water from the basin. Should groundwater levels in these areas be drawn down as a result of artificial extraction, there will be a saving in the water that would otherwise be consumptively used by the phreatophytes. The value of water supply gained will need to be compared to the environmental values of the phreatophytes lost. With artificial recharge, water levels will typically rise, which can lead to increased discharge. As a result, the recoverable water may diminish as the length of storage time increases. The storage zone geometry is also affected by local scale features and local variability (heterogeneity) in the hydrophysical properties of the aquifer. In sedimentary aquifers, the paleoenvironment in which the sediments were deposited affects the geometry of the storage zone. For example, if the storage zone is located with a paleofluvial (riverine) system, the geometry of the more permeable zones may be ribbon-like (Prothero and Schwab, 2004). In a mixed clastic-carbonate aquifer, storage zones may be more isolated both vertically and laterally than they are in a more homogeneous sandy alluvial aquifer. Hydrogeological Properties The hydrogeological aquifer properties that are most significant with respect to underground storage are the hydraulic conductivity (or transmissivity for a confined aquifer) and storage coefficient (either specific yield or storativity) (see text below and Glossary for definitions). Leakage from adjacent water-bearing zones (quantified through the leakance) also affects an underground storage reservoir. The geological processes that create the aquifer control the hydrogeologic properties that the aquifer possesses. For example, in aquifers comprising sedimentary rocks, the environment of deposition, depositional processes, and lithology (types of grains) affect hydraulic conductivity and storage properties through the spatial arrangements of and variations in the grain size and sorting, packing, roundness, and so on. Postdepositional processes such as compaction and cementation can reduce hydraulic conductivity while dissolution and fracturing tend to increase hydraulic conductivity.
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water Storage The capacity of an aquifer to store water is described or quantified by the storage coefficient; specific storage and specific yield are the terms used for confined and unconfined aquifers, respectively. The aquifer properties that affect the specific storage are the total porosity and compressibility of the aquifer matrix. Specific storage ranges from less than 3 ×10−6 m−1 in rocks to 2 ×10−2 m−1 in plastic clays (Anderson and Woessner, 1992). Storativity, which is equal to the product of specific storage and aquifer thickness, defines the volume of water released from storage per unit decline in hydraulic head in the aquifer per unit surface area of the aquifer (Table 3-2). The relationship between fluid pressure, effective stress, and flow is essential to understanding the mechanism of aquifer storage (Charbonneau, 2000; Fitts, 2002). Storage capacity is modified by compression or expansion in the soil or rock matrix as a response to effective stress. Effective stress is defined as the difference between the total stress and the stress supported by the fluid. The total stress is the weight supported by the surface divided by the surface area (Charbonneau, 2000). In other words, when pressures are lowered by removal of water during pumping, stress is transferred to the solid matrix and the solid matrix compacts as a result of the increased effective stress. When pumping ceases, water flows toward the area of reduced head, causing an increase in fluid pressure and a transfer of stress to the fluid phase. The reduced effective stress on the solid matrix causes an expansion of the matrix. The specific yield quantifies the pore space that is drainable by gravity. In other words, it expresses the difference between the total water filled porosity and the water held by surface tension (i.e., undrainable water). Values of specific yield range from close to 0 for clays to more than 0.25 for coarse gravel (see Table 3-2). There are two types of storage space used most commonly for MUS. One is the drained pore space within a geological unit; this space may have been created by historical groundwater withdrawal (i.e., groundwater overdraft or mining). In general, the available storage spaces in such depleted aquifers are laterally extensive and may have experienced a reduction in storage capacity as a consequence of consolidation or compaction of the aquifer matrix during historic pumping. The second type of storage space is created by displacement of native water with recharge water creating a zone of freshwater around the recharge well (Figure 3-1). In other words, injecting freshwater into a confined aquifer will create an increase in the piezometric head commonly known as the “mounding effect” (e.g., Bouwer, 2002). An example of this type of storage would be an ASR well in a saline or brine aquifer. This type of storage space may be limited by available recharge area and/or by allowable pressures in the aquifer. Porosity in an aquifer system changes throughout the geologic history of the media. The primary porosity, comprising, primarily intergranular space, is created during deposition in sedimentary rocks. It can be reduced by subsequent
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water compaction and lithification. Secondary porosity is created through marked alteration of the original aquifer media. Examples include conduits formed by carbonate dissolution, partings along bedding planes, or fractures. The term “dual porosity” characterizes an aquifer that contains both primary and secondary porosity. Hydraulic Conductivity and Transmissivity Hydraulic conductivity describes the ability of the aquifer or any unit or volume within it to allow water flow. Hydraulic conductivity is dependent on the fluid (viscosity and density) and the geological medium (Viessman & Lewis, 2003). The dimensions of the connected water- filled pore spaces are the physical attributes of the medium that control the hydraulic conductivity. Hydraulic conductivity values can range over 12 orders of magnitude (Domenico & Schwartz, 1990). Low–hydraulic-conductivity values are indicative of a less permeable matrix such as clay or shale (confining units), while high values are indicative of a highly permeable matrix such as sand and gravel (Schwartz & Zhang, 2003). Transmissivity is equal to the product of the hydraulic conductivity and the aquifer thickness and is most often used in the context of confined aquifers. It thus quantifies the capability of the entire thickness of the aquifer to conduct water flow. Water also moves from one aquifer to another through a semiconfined or confined layer. Leakance, which is defined as the ratio of vertical hydraulic conductivity to the thickness of the confining unit or aquitard, was generally used to denote how fast or slow the confining unit may allow water pass through it. Table 3-2 summarizes ranges of these hydrogeological parameters, as well as storage parameters, from known MUS projects within common aquifer storage media. The hydraulic conductivity of an aquifer can vary with location in the aquifer—termed heterogeneity—and/or with the direction of groundwater flow—termed anisotropy. The Heterogeneity and anisotropy of aquifer hydraulic properties must be known in order to plan an MUS system and develop accurate groundwater flow or solute transport models for such a system. The aquifer created in a fluvial sedimentary deposit provides an example of one that has heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity with lower conductivity in the finer-grained overbank or floodplain-generated units and higher values in the channel features. Heterogeneity in the hydraulic conductivity of aquifer storage units is the norm, rather than the exception. As discussed later in the chapter, heterogeneity often leads to a highly nonuniform distribution of water recharged by wells (Vacher et al., 2006)—not the subsurface ”bubble” of stored water employed in simpler conceptual models. Whereas heterogeneity indicates that hydraulic conductivity differs between points in an aquifer, anisotropy is the term that characterizes differences in hydraulic conductivity with direction of flow. Anisotropy can result in observations
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water TABLE 3-2 Approximate Hydrogeological Parameters in Aquifers Used for Underground Storage Matrix Composition Hydraulic conductivity (ft/day) Transmissivity (ft2/day) Specific Yield Storativity Specific Capacity1 (ft3/day/ft) Leakance (per day) Carbonate 10−1 to 103 102 to 105 0.01 to 0.1 10−3 to 10−5 103 to 105 10−2 to 10−5 Unconsolidated and consolidated siliciclastic sediments 10−1 to 102 102 to 104 0.1 to 0.3 10−3 to 10−6 103 10−3 to 10−5 Fractured igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks 100 to 10−4 102 0.05 to 0.1 10−2 to 10−5 103 to 105 - SOURCES: Brown et al. (2005); Driscoll (1995); Leonard (1992); Pyne (2005); Reese (2003); Reese and Alvarez-Zarikian (2007); and Ward et al. (2003). 1An expression of the productivity of a well. It is defined as the ratio of discharge of water from the well to the drawdown of the water level in the well. It should be described on the basis of the number of hours of pumping prior to the time the drawdown measurement is made. of order-of-magnitude differences in the vertical and horizontal hydraulic conductivities in a single core sample of aquifer material. Anisotropy contrasts are generally greater when vertical and horizontal flow directions are compared. Within a layered sedimentary system, for example, flow in the vertical direction is impeded by the presence of any low-hydraulic-conductivity layers, whereas flow in the horizontal direction may travel in laterally continuous, more permeable zones unimpeded by the low-hydraulic-conductivity layers. A massive (i.e., unbedded), very well sorted quartz sand or carbonate grainstone aquifer (i.e., nearly free of a clay-sized fraction) would be characterized as homogeneous and isotropic. On the other hand, a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate aquifer typical of the southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain would be considered heterogeneous and anisotropic. In the context of aquifer storage, a dual porosity aquifer system can be considered a dual reservoir. While most of the water may exist within connected primary pore spaces through which water moves relatively slowly, water residing in the secondary porosity may travel at greater velocities (e.g., conduit flow in a carbonate aquifer). A prominent example of a dual- porosity unit that is frequently considered for MUS systems is the “Chalk” of England, which has up to 40 percent primary porosity, yet most of the flow is through fractures (Gale et al., 2002). The scale of measurement strongly influences the resulting observations in dual-porosity aquifers. Because only the permeability of the matrix or primary porosity is captured in laboratory sample-sized measurements, much greater hydraulic conductivities are observed at the well-field scale where the volume of
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water aquifer measured includes flow through the more permeable secondary porosity features. Fluid flow within secondary porosity can be non-Darcian including turbulent flow (high Reynolds number), and velocities may range from 102 to 103 feet per day, where these gravel seams or fractures are not continuous over large distances. Hydraulic conductivity values generally range from 10−3 to 101 feet per day in the less permeable (primary) counterpart of the dual-porosity system (Brown et al., 2005; Driscoll, 1995). Open basins and coastal plain aquifers that are comprised dominantly of dual-porosity carbonates are especially susceptible to issues of scale with regard to hydrogeological parameters. Igneous and metamorphic rocks are generally not considered to have dual porosity because fracture porosity comprises nearly all of the open volume in which water can flow or be stored. Primary porosity in these comparatively brittle rocks is extremely low and rarely interconnected, unless the rocks have been significantly weathered. In a basaltic aquifer, zones of greatest hydraulic conductivity occur along lava flow boundaries; lava tubes comprise a unique type of secondary porosity. Both groundwater modeling and effective monitoring design are facilitated by understanding the physical characteristics of the secondary porosity such as the size, orientation, and distribution of fractures or partings. The orientation of fractures and joints is generally related to present or paleo-stress fields; widening of these features may occur due to rock dissolution and mechanical breakdown. Conduit size is more dependent on the aquifer lithology (e.g., carbonate rocks dissolve more readily than silicic rocks) and history of exposure to chemically aggressive water. Additional influences on the distribution of secondary porosity in carbonate rocks include changes in the position of the freshwater-seawater interface, sea-level fluctuations, climate change, and extensive pumping. Variations in lithology, depositional environment, and position of bedding planes also contribute to evolution of conduits that may yield complex flow systems. Water Movement Between Aquifers or Between Aquifers and Surface Water Aquifer Interaction In an aquifer system, it is possible for water to move from a semiconfined aquifer of higher hydraulic pressure into an unconfined one or vice versa when the semiconfined aquifer hydraulic head is reduced by pumping. Water movement may also occur through windows or lenses between confined aquifers due to potentiometric head differences. Adding water to a confined aquifer can be accomplished only by increasing the pressure of water in already saturated pores (contrasted with the ability to add water to partially saturated pores above the water table in an unconfined aquifer) Interaction among aquifers at different physical elevations depends on the piezometric head between them and on the
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water thickness, hydraulic conductivity, and integrity of the confining unit. Water from different aquifers may also be transferred through uncased wells or abandoned wells. Leakage between unconfined aquifers and semiconfined aquifers can be enhanced by increased head difference or reduced by decreased head difference as a result of recharge of one aquifer. Surface Water and Groundwater Interaction Groundwater commonly is connected hydraulically to surface water (Alley et al., 1999). In the natural system, the interaction takes place in three basic ways: a water body gains water from inflow of groundwater through its bed, through its margins, or via a spring or seep; loses water to groundwater by outflow in the same manner (seepage or sinkholes); or does both, gaining in some places and losing in others depending on local and temporal changes in hydraulics (seasonal or climatic changes affecting relative pressures). Groundwater-surface water interactions occur between aquifers and rivers, lakes, wetlands, retention ponds, infiltration trenches, and spreader canals. If the vertical gradient or the hydraulic conductivity is low, the flow rate between the water body and the aquifer is lower. Wells located closer to water bodies may have strong impacts on surface water flow, whereas distant wells tend to have lesser impacts. Pumpage of wells in close proximity to water bodies may greatly increase seepage, especially from coarse-grained stream channels or unlined canals and laterals. These types of interactions are relevant to MUS projects because surface water bodies serve as boundaries that recharge or drain the aquifer. For example, water reuse projects could be implemented in coastal aquifers, where water delivered to canal systems that recharge the aquifer prevents saltwater intrusion from wellfield drawdown. HYDRAULICS OF RECHARGE As noted in the previous chapter, managed underground storage of recoverable water can be achieved using three different methods, namely surface spreading (e.g., recharge basins, modified stream beds, pits and shafts), vadose zone wells, and recharge or ASR wells, plus others including watershed management (water harvesting or enhancement of natural recharge). Each method is governed by its own hydraulics (ASCE, 2001; Bouwer, 2002; Pyne, 2005).
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water Chemical Impacts Hydrogeochemical and biogeochemical reactions may affect physical aspects of the aquifer and MUS system performance. Clogging via microbial activity or mineral precipitation, for example, reduces hydraulic conductivity and affects MUS system performance. Mixing of water during MUS activities may lead to dissolution and enhancement of dual porosity. Although these processes are described in this chapter, significantly more detail is provided in Chapters 4 and 6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Conclusion: To facilitate the siting and implementation of MUS systems, maps of favorable aquifers and hydrogeological characteristics can be prepared using 3D capable geographical information systems (GIS). At a regional or statewide scale, such GIS maps can help visualize and characterize major aquifers for future development of MUS systems, map and analyze regional changes in head and flow patterns, and facilitate comprehensive, regional water resources management. At a project scale, they can aid in establishing the design, spacing, orientation, and capacity of wells and recharge basins, evaluating their impact on the environment and existing users, estimating the critical pressure for rock fracturing, visualizing the movement of stored water throughout the system (especially useful for systems with waters of varying density or quality), and evaluating the extent of potential water quality changes in the aquifer during storage and movement. Recommendation: States, counties, and water authorities considering MUS should consider incorporating 3D capable GIS along with existing hydrogeologic, geochemical, cadastral, and other data in (1) regional mapping efforts to identify areas that are, or are not, likely to be favorable for development of various kinds of MUS systems, and (2) project conception, design, pilot testing, and adaptive management. Conclusion: Long-term local and regional impacts of MUS systems on both native groundwater and surface water have been recognized, including changes in groundwater recharge, flow, and discharge, and effects on aquifer matrix such as compaction of confining layers or clay interlayers during recharge and recovery cycles. Recommendation: Monitoring and modeling should be performed to predict likely effects—positive or negative—of MUS systems on the physical system, including inflows, storage, and outflows. Appropriate measures can and should be taken to minimize negative effects during operations. Conclusion: Groundwater numerical modeling at regional and/or high-resolution local scales provides a cost-effective tool for planning, design and
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Prospects for Managed Underground Storage Recoverable Water operation of an MUS system. Recommendation: Analyses using groundwater flow and solute transport modeling should become a routine part of planning for, designing, and adap-tively operating MUS systems. Uncertainty analysis should also be incorporated into prediction of a system’s short- and long-term performance, especially regarding the expected values of recovery efficiency and storage capacity. Conclusion and Recommendation: In addition to the topics above, research is particularly needed, and should be conducted, in the following areas: Hydrologic feasibility. This includes (1) lack of knowledge about storage zones and areas favorable for recharge for major aquifers in the United States; (2) limited understanding of how aquifer heterogeneity, scale effects, and other physical, chemical, and biological properties impact recharge rate and recovery efficiency of the MUS system; (3) lack of understanding of matrix behavior, especially fractured aquifers, during recharge versus withdrawal tests (e.g., expansion vs. compaction) to prevent or limit artificially induced deformation of the aquifer matrix; (4) need to develop of tools to analyze non-Darcian flow around recharge wells to avoid poor design of recharge wells; and (5) need for overall characterization, system recovery efficiency, optimum placement of monitoring wells, recharge and pumping impacts, and hydraulic fracturing in an aquifer with dual porosity. Impacts of MUS systems on surface water. How, in terms of both quantity and timing, might a surface spreading or well recharge facility affect the flow of neighboring streams? What would be the hydrologic, ecological, and legal consequences of this interaction between the MUS system and surface water? An integrated or system approach should be developed and employed for assessing such impacts. Technology enhancement and methodology development for determining hydrological properties of the aquifers and their impacts on performance of the MUS system. These include (1) surface and borehole geophysical methods to determine hydrological properties and the extent of recharge water volumes during cycle testing; (2) optimization of cycle test design (frequency, duration, and intensity) to improve performance of MUS systems for various hydrological settings; (3) better conceptual models for delineation of storage zone and recovery zone; and (4) better understanding of non-Darcian flow near recharge wells through experimental study and field monitoring, and further development of theories and numerical models to assess the interaction of stored water (especially urban runoff) with native groundwater.
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