Session 14 – Science Policy Forum “Innovative subsurface water solutions (SWS) to improve water management in coastal areas”

Coastal areas are the most productive and economically dominant regions of the world. The high water demand in these regions, however, puts tremendous pressure on their freshwater resources and ecosystems. This leads to problems like seasonal water shortage, saltwater intrusion, and disappearance of wetlands.

Subsurface storage of freshwater in times of surplus (e.g. wet seasons) could be an option to improve the fresh water supply in water-stressed coastal areas. However, conventional aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) approaches often are unsuitable due to their low recovery efficiency in brackish and saline aquifers. Building on national, regional and European research and innovation programs, in the past decade, a set of innovative, practical concepts have been developed for protection, enlargement and utilization of freshwater resources in coastal areas. These concepts combine innovations in water well design and configuration, allowing for advanced groundwater management, and maximum control over freshwater resources. Full-scale pilots in the Netherlands have demonstrated the potential of these concepts to support sustainable freshwater supply in coastal areas, energy reduction, food production, and financial savings. Further pilot projects are currently being implemented in Denmark, Greece and Mexico.

Keywords: Water supply, coastal areas, seawater intrusion, salinization, Managed Aquifer Recharge, Aquifer Storage and Recovery


  • Highlight the specific challenges of securing a sustainable freshwater supply in coastal areas (seawater intrusion, salinization of well fields, limitations of conventional groundwater management applications)
  • Present solutions to the specific problems of water management in coastal areas supported by data and information about cases studies where these solutions are successfully applied
  • Discuss how to transfer the benefits of high-tech advanced solutions to low-tech application

Session Plan

The session will begin with a brief introduction to coastal zone hydrogeology, the impact of climate change and groundwater use on the freshwater-saltwater balance, and how SWS are specifically designed for coastal environments.   Experts will then share their experiences from different SWS case studies in developed and developing countries. The session will highlight technical aspects but also legal and institutional preconditions for a successful implementation of SWS. This includes data availability, required permits for injection and abstraction, and required skills of professional staff. The audience has the opportunity to discuss costs, benefits and risks of each technology as well as the scope of application from private agricultural production to large scale storage in mega cities.

Moderation: Ramon Brentführer, Michael Eichholz

Thematic Keynote

Maike Groeschke | BGR

Koen Zuurbier | KWR

Jonas Bunsen | Adelphi, Germany

Poster Presentation

Rahman, M Tauhid Ur | Military Institute of Science and Technology, Bangladesh
Development of a Numerical Model in Assessing Groundwater Vulnerability from Saline Water Intrusion in Khulna, Bangladesh (370)

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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    Room: Peking 2

    Organized by German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)

Maike Groeschke

Keynote Speaker (BGR)

Koen Zuurbier

Keynote Speaker (KWR)

Jonas Bunsen

Keynote Speaker (Adelphi)


Organizing Institution

Event Timeslots (1)

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Room: Peking 2

Organized by German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)