From managed aquifer recharge to soil aquifer treatment on agricultural soils: Concepts and challenges

Maayan Grinshpan, Alex Furman, Helen E. Dahlke, Eran Raveh, Noam Weisbrod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Water is a limiting factor for economic and social development in most arid and semi-arid regions on Earth. The deliberate recharge of depleted aquifer storage and later recovery, known as managed aquifer recharge (MAR), is an important tool for water management and sustainability. Increasing stresses on groundwater and subsequent overdrafts have sparked the development of several advanced MAR technologies, including soil aquifer treatment (SAT). SAT is a method that recharges wastewater effluent through intermittent percolation in infiltration basins. Another emerging MAR approach currently explored is the off-season flooding of agricultural lands, known as agricultural MAR, or Ag-MAR. Utilizing agricultural fields as temporary infiltration basins during periods of dormancy increases the availability of land resources for groundwater recharge, rather than designating land explicitly for MAR. As land resources for SAT become limited and the amount of available treated wastewater (TWW) increases, we propose the idea of agricultural SAT, or Ag-SAT, as a combination of SAT and Ag-MAR. This review paper aims to provide an in-depth look into the approach and application of Ag-MAR and the possibilities of integrating Ag-MAR with SAT. Ag-SAT comprises the off-season flooding of agricultural land using TWW for groundwater recharge and subsequent reuse. Ag-SAT could provide alternative infiltration sites for SAT where available surface area dedicated to infiltration is becoming a limiting factor. Additionally, the treated wastewater could potentially provide nutrients to agricultural fields during the flooding cycles. Potential advantages, disadvantages, and knowledge gaps related to Ag-SAT are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106991
JournalAgricultural Water Management
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Agricultural managed aquifer recharge
  • Agricultural soil aquifer treatment
  • Groundwater sustainability
  • Treated wastewater irrigation
  • Water reclamation


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