Majumdar, S., Miller, G.R. and Sheng, Z. (2021), Optimizing Multiwell Aquifer Storage and Recovery Systems for Energy Use and Recovery Efficiency. Groundwater. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwat.13092
As more aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) systems are employed for management of water resources, the skillful operation of multiwell ASR systems has become very important to improve their performance. In this study, we developed MODFLOW and MT3DMS models to simulate a multiwell ASR system in a synthetic aquifer to assess effects of hydrogeological and operational factors on the performance of the multiwell ASR system. We evaluated a simplified (dual well) ASR system in comparison with complex system (three‐, four‐, five‐, and seven‐well systems). Recovery and energy efficiencies were calculated using the model simulations. Factors such as higher hydraulic conductivity and longitudinal dispersivity significantly reduced the recovery and energy efficiencies of the system. In contrast, increasing the volume of recharged water increased the recovery efficiency; however, the energy efficiency was reduced. Recovery and energy efficiencies also plummet when there is an increase in the underlying regional gradient and the designed storage duration. Operating the system multiple times can yield higher volume of potable water, but the energy efficiency may not vary significantly after the second operating cycle. Single‐well systems and multiwell systems exhibit similar responses to changes in physical factors, although operational factors have a more pronounced effect on the multiwell systems. One of the major findings was that fewer wells in a multiwell ASR system can yield higher volume of potable water and better output with respect to the electrical power being consumed. The results provide design engineers with guidelines for optimizing performance of the multiwell ASR systems.