Groundwater recharging is a fairly common practice and growing due to growing concerns about freshwater shortages. Groundwater replenishing happens naturally during heavy rains and snow melt, though humans extract groundwater at a faster rate than it’s recharged naturally. To remedy the situation, percolation basins are established where municipalities divert rainwater or treated municipal waste water and recharge aquifers through the percolation basin.
One way to replenish aquifers is by pumping reclaimed sewage water into the aquifer. This may be accomplished by direct injection, or by creating infiltration basins. Another method is to slow the downstream flow of water in mountain regions using small dams. This is similar to the natural process of aquifer replenishment that was once performed by beavers.
There are artificial methods to replenishing aquifers. The USGS (2011) gives the example of how in New York, an excessive amount of ground water is used for air conditioning and then put back into the aquifer via recharge wells. There are also two ways to recharge aquifers artificially. The first is to spread water over areas in the land that can hold water and let it penetrate down into the aquifer. The second is a less practical method of building recharge wells and injecting the aquifer directly with water (USGS, 2011).
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