Learn more about Water Managment in the Rapel Basin, Chile

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo and then animation image appears of rain falling from clouds and then the camera zooms out to show the clouds raining on an animation image of a city]

Narrator: We all need water. 

[Animation image changes to show the sun shining above the city and the ground under the city changes from green to brown]

But rapid population growth and changes in climate may mean we have to do more with less. 

[Animation image shows a funnel underground joining to a pipe and then to a tap above ground and the animation image shows symbols of different water icon drips dripping into the funnel]

Or, we could tap into some of the water around us that we just don’t use, excess surface water, treated wastewater and urban stormwater.

[Animation image of a tank appears]

Of course, if we save this water we need somewhere to bank it for a not so rainy day.

[Animation image changes to show aquifers below the city and text appears: Aquifers]

Rather than giant, unsightly, above-ground storage tanks, we can use large, naturally occurring underground reservoirs called aquifers. 

[Text appears next to the water in the Aquifers: Porous rock, Fractured rock, Unconsolidated sediment]

They hold water in porous or fractured rock or loose, unconsolidated sediment. 

[Text appears on the animation image: Clay]

Less permeable layers, like clay, help to contain the stored water.

[Animation image show water moving down into the Aquifer and then moving up to the surface again and text appears: Managed Aquifer Recharge]

The CSIRO focuses its research on how best to use aquifers to store, convey and treat water. Storing water like this is known as Managed Aquifer Recharge. 

[Image changes to show an animation image of farmland and a city above the various ground layers and the animation image shows rain clouds moving over the area]

Most agricultural areas have a wet season, so let’s start there.

[Image shows the clouds raining and then the camera zooms in on the farmland and arrows appear showing the path of the water run-off into the ground and then into the Aquifer]

There’s high rainfall and less demand for irrigation. In other words, a perfect time to capture excess runoff. Water is simply filtered through the soil and “banked” in a shallow aquifer. 

[Camera zooms out to show the animation image of the city and farmland and the sky becomes clear and irrigation pipes appear leading from the Aquifer to the farmland]

It’s then ready as an economic irrigation supply when the dry season returns. 

[Icons appear across the animation image on the screen representing no algal blooms, no mosquitoes and no evaporation and then the icons move off the top of the screen]

And as a bonus, storing water this way means no algal blooms, no mosquito problems and reduces the water lost to evaporation when things inevitably heat up and dry off.

[Animation image shows a black raincloud over the city area and then arrows show the path of the rainwater into the wetland and then down into an Aquifer]

In urban settings, storm water can be collected in a wetland area and injected into a well to reach a deeper aquifer.

[Camera zooms in on the Aquifer below the city and the image shows the path of the water from the Aquifer through the well, back into the wetland, into irrigation pipes and out to farms and the city]

The stored water can then be recovered via the same well and used in the irrigation of crops or ovals, or for non-potable water in households or industry, or even treated to become drinking water. 

[Camera zooms in on the waste water moving down into the Aquifer through a well]

Urban centres also produce significant volumes of waste water. 

[Camera zooms out to show the Aquifer below the city]

This can also be used to recharge deeper aquifers and unlike storm water is available for recycling all year round.

[Icons appear to symbolize non-disruption to ecosystems]

And in fact, Managed Aquifer Recharge helps us recycle urban waste water without the disruption to natural environments that waste discharge can sometimes cause.

[Camera zooms in on the Aquifer again and then the image shows the path of the water back up through the well and out into the farmland]

Once banked in the aquifer storage periods can vary from short term irrigation support to long term insurance against drought.

[Image changes to show the city with the brown soil beneath it and then a circular symbol appears divided into four parts displaying a dollar sign, a tree, a plus sign and outline people]

Of course, there are a whole raft of important social, health, environmental and economic considerations whenever and wherever we use these processes. 

[Animation image changes to show a person looking into a microscope, holding a test tube, an arm being injected, a male looking up at a tree, a computer screen displaying a map of Australia and a female checking water quality]

CSIRO helps assess and enable these projects with research into the fate of pathogens and chemicals, protect human health and the environment and answer fundamental questions like, “Where are the suitable aquifers?” and “How natural processes affect the quality of water during storage?”. 

[Image changes to show a map of Australia coloured to symbolize the different areas and text appears: Wetter, Drier, Southern growing season, 20 year trend]

More and more demand will, inevitably, be placed on our water supply. 

[The background image changes to show water moving down through layers of soil into an Aquifer and symbols appear on the map of cities and Aquifers]

With appropriate research support from the CSIRO, Managed Aquifer Recharge can help us create a diversity of water supply options that will meet our future water needs.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]
 

Integrated Water Management in the Rapel basin CSIRO Chile project :  The project seeks to identify approaches and tools which allow to build an integrated and sustainable management of water resources in the Rapel River Basin.

Contact us

Your contact details

First name must be filled in

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer.