Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Shallow aquifer storage and recovery (SASR): Regional management of underground water storage in hydraulically connected aquifer-stream systems

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  • A novel mode of shallow aquifer management could increase the volumetric potential and distribution of underground, freshwater storage: Shallow aquifer storage and recovery (SASR). In this mode, water is efficiently stored in basin fill aquifers with strong hydraulic connection to surface water. Regional numerical modeling can provide a linkage between storage efficiency and local hydrogeologic parameters, which in turn may contribute to useful rules guiding how and where water can be stored. This study: (1) uses a calibrated model of the central Willamette Basin (CWB), Oregon to correlate SASR storage efficiency to basic hydrogeologic parameters using the stream depletion factor (SDF); (2) uses SDF to identify regions of high storage efficiency, and (3) estimates potential volumetric storage and injection rates for storage-efficient regions. Potential storage for the CWB is estimated to be 2.40 million m³. Given areal average hydrogeologic parameters, 8 wells--roughly 35 m deep and 0.3 m diameter--would be capable of managing this storage on an annual basis. Given otherwise similar conditions, greater depth to groundwater would yield greater volumetric potential, greater injection rates, and either unchanged or increased efficiency.
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