Managed aquifer recharge with reverse-osmosis desalinated seawater: Modeling the spreading in groundwater using stable water isotopes

Yonatan Ganot, Ran Holtzman, Noam Weisbrod, Anat Bernstein, Hagar Siebner, Yoram Katz, Daniel Kurtzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The spreading of reverse-osmosis desalinated seawater (DSW) in the Israeli coastal aquifer was studied using groundwater modeling and stable water isotopes as tracers. The DSW produced at the Hadera seawater reverse-osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant is recharged into the aquifer through an infiltration pond at the managed aquifer recharge (MAR) site of Menashe, Israel. The distinct difference in isotope composition between DSW (δ18OD1.41 ‰; δ2HD11.34 ‰) and the natural groundwater (δ18OD-4.48‰ to-5.43 ‰; δ2HD-18.41‰ to-22.68 ‰) makes the water isotopes preferable for use as a tracer compared to widely used chemical tracers, such as chloride. Moreover, this distinct difference can be used to simplify the system to a binary mixture of two end-members: desalinated seawater and groundwater. This approach is validated through a sensitivity analysis, and it is especially robust when spatial data of stable water isotopes in the aquifer are scarce. A calibrated groundwater flow and transport model was used to predict the DSW plume distribution in the aquifer after 50 years of MAR with DSW. The results suggest that after 50 years, 94% of the recharged DSW was recovered by the production wells at the Menashe MAR site. The presented methodology is useful for predicting the distribution of reverse-osmosis desalinated seawater in various downstream groundwater systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6323-6333
Number of pages11
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

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recharge
aquifer
isotope
seawater
groundwater
modeling
water
tracer
reverse osmosis
coastal aquifer
spatial data
groundwater flow
sensitivity analysis
infiltration
plume
pond
chloride
well
methodology

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Managed aquifer recharge with reverse-osmosis desalinated seawater : Modeling the spreading in groundwater using stable water isotopes. / Ganot, Yonatan; Holtzman, Ran; Weisbrod, Noam; Bernstein, Anat; Siebner, Hagar; Katz, Yoram; Kurtzman, Daniel.

In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 12, 06.12.2018, p. 6323-6333.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ganot, Yonatan ; Holtzman, Ran ; Weisbrod, Noam ; Bernstein, Anat ; Siebner, Hagar ; Katz, Yoram ; Kurtzman, Daniel. / Managed aquifer recharge with reverse-osmosis desalinated seawater : Modeling the spreading in groundwater using stable water isotopes. In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 2018 ; Vol. 22, No. 12. pp. 6323-6333.
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