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Volume 22, issue 6 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3213-3227, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Jun 2018

Research article | 08 Jun 2018

A risk assessment methodology to evaluate the risk failure of managed aquifer recharge in the Mediterranean Basin

Paula Rodríguez-Escales1,2,*, Arnau Canelles1,2,*, Xavier Sanchez-Vila1,2, Albert Folch1,2, Daniel Kurtzman3, Rudy Rossetto4, Enrique Fernández-Escalante5, João-Paulo Lobo-Ferreira6, Manuel Sapiano7, Jon San-Sebastián5, and Christoph Schüth8 Paula Rodríguez-Escales et al.
  • 1Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Associated Unit: Hydrogeology Group (UPC-CSIC)
  • 3Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Rishon LeZion, Israel
  • 4Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy
  • 5Empresa de Transformación Agraria (TRAGSA), R&D department, Madrid, Spain
  • 6Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 7Energy and Water Agency, Luqa, Malta
  • 8Institute of Applied Geosciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) can be affected by many risks. Those risks are related to different technical and non-technical aspects of recharge, like water availability, water quality, legislation, social issues, etc. Many other works have acknowledged risks of this nature theoretically; however, their quantification and definition has not been developed. In this study, the risk definition and quantification has been performed by means of fault trees and probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). We defined a fault tree with 65 basic events applicable to the operation phase. After that, we have applied this methodology to six different managed aquifer recharge sites located in the Mediterranean Basin (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, and Israel). The probabilities of the basic events were defined by expert criteria, based on the knowledge of the different managers of the facilities. From that, we conclude that in all sites, the perception of the expert criteria of the non-technical aspects were as much or even more important than the technical aspects. Regarding the risk results, we observe that the total risk in three of the six sites was equal to or above 0.90. That would mean that the MAR facilities have a risk of failure equal to or higher than 90% in the period of 2–6 years. The other three sites presented lower risks (75, 29, and 18% for Malta, Menashe, and Serchio, respectively).

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Short summary
In this work, we have developed a methodology to evaluate the failure risk of managed aquifer recharge, and we have applied it to six different facilities located in the Mediterranean Basin. The methodology was based on the development of a probabilistic risk assessment based on fault trees. We evaluated both technical and non-technical issues, the latter being more responsible for failure risk.
In this work, we have developed a methodology to evaluate the failure risk of managed aquifer...