Aquifer Recharge Enhancement

Recharge is the term used to describe how an aquifer gains water from the surface via precipitation, rivers, lakes, and streams, or from other subsurface aquifers. When an aquifer is recharging, groundwater levels rise to be closer to the ground surface, and artesian pressure generally increases. The Middle Trinity GCD is tracking recharge by monitoring wells to record aquifer water levels.

Two of MTGCD’s counties, Comanche and Erath Counties, are in the outcrop of the Trinity Aquifer. The outcrop is also referred to as the recharge zone. This means that some of the geologic formations which store groundwater are oriented such that they intersect the ground surface in such a way that they are “open-ended” and can receive water from the surface. This is good news because the aquifer will recharge faster than non-outcrop, or down dip, areas.

The concept of storing excess water underground for later use is typically referred to as aquifer recharge enhancement or, more recently, aquifer storage and recovery (ASR). Aquifer recharge enhancement can include structures for infiltration enhancement or injection of water into aquifers. The use of artificial recharge to store surplus surface water underground can be expected to increase as growing populations demand more water, and as the number of good surface water reservoir sites still available for construction become fewer. There are several key advantages to aquifer recharge enhancement (ASR) over surface water reservoirs. They include:

                -Minimal Evaporation

                -Reduces Environmental Impacts

                -No Imposition of Eminent Domain

                -Reduced Construction Time

                -Reduced Construction Expense

                -ASR facility won’t silt-up like a reservoir

We should expect ASR to become one of the sources of “new” water to meet the demands of population growth.