Reference application: The Amsterdam Watersupply Dunes (Netherlands) - Literature review
DescriptionThe Amsterdam Watersupply Dunes (AWD) are located at the North Sea coast about 25 km west of Amsterdam near Zandvoort and cover an area of approximately 3400 ha. Because of their elevation above sea level, a rain-fed (about 5 km wide and up to 120 m deep) freshwater lens was able to develop in the saline aquifer. This natural freshwater resource was used for the water supply of Amsterdam since 1853 (Geelen et al. 2017). Rising water demand and resulting overexploitation led to declining groundwater levels, seawater intrusion, upconing of the underlying saline groundwater, and subsequently a decline in raw water quality.
To mitigate these problems and increase the water availability, an artificial groundwater recharge system was installed and started operation in 1957. Pre-treated surface water from the Rhine River (inlet at the Lek Canal in Nieuwegein) is continuously infiltrated in the dune area via 40 infiltration ponds. The infiltrated water is recovered in deep extraction canals before it is treated and sent to the distribution network. The residence time of the infiltrated water in the aquifer varies between at least 60 days (Brochure 2014) and several years (van Breukelen et al. 1998). The share of autochtonous shallow (Stuyfzand & Doomen 2004) groundwater (natural dune water) in the recovered water is about 20/25 % (Stuyfzand & Doomen 2004).
This ATR (aquifer transfer and recovery) system, which is sometimes also referred to as the “Amsterdam dune water machine” or, in Dutch, “Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen”, has similar advantages as bank filtration systems: The dune sand acts as a natural filter. It is a barrier for bacteria and viruses and helps break down organic micropollutants.
KeywordsAquifer transfer and Recovery, ATR, Urban water supply
URLhttps://www.waternet.nl/en/our-water/our-tap-water/amsterdamse-waterleidingduinen/ , http://thewaterchannel.tv/thewaterblog/268-the-dune-water-machine
Source of water for infiltration
Post-treatment after recovery/abstraction
- EU Water Framework Directive "Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy"
- EU Groundwater Directive "Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration"
Publications and references
- The Dutch experience with MARS (Managed Aquifer Recharge and Storage): A review of facilities, techniques and tools (Report)
- Hydrogeochemical transport modeling of 24 years of Rhine water infiltration in the dunes of the Amsterdam Water Supply (Journal article)
- A post audit and inverse modeling in reactive transport: 50years of artificial recharge in the Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes (Journal article)
- From overexploitation to sustainable use, an overview of 160 years of water extraction in the Amsterdam dunes, the Netherlands (Journal article)
- Effects of intake interruptions on dune infiltration systems in the Netherlands, their quantification and mitigation (Journal article)