The International Symposiums on Managed Aquifer Recharge (the “ISMAR” series) are the most important gatherings of experts from industry, academia, service operators and policy makers sharing their expertise on advances in the development and application of MAR worldwide. The conference takes place every three years and in 2019, the event was organised by the Tragsa Group in Madrid, Spain, between 20-24 May 2019. As some of the DIGIRES partner members attended the event, we took the opportunity and organised our informal project kickoff meeting in the premises of the conference. The meeting was attended by our partners from UMON (Belgium), UFPE (Brazil), and TUD-INOWAS (Germany). We also had as guests further cooperation partners from Adelphi Research gGmbH (Germany) and from the Federal University of Pernambuco – UFPB (Brazil).
During the meeting in Madrid we reviewed the project implementation agenda and designed the working priorities for the next few months. The Brazilian partners took this opportunity and shared some preliminary information about the existing water management practices in Recife, Brazil, and distributed existing reports on groundwater modelling initiatives in the region. In line with the scope of the joint project proposal, we agreed to adopt a progressive approach in the three non-EU project countries: in Brazil, the INOWAS modelling platform will be used to simulate the impact of managed aquifer recharge on local groundwater system; in Guatemala, the project will focus on MAR promotion through stakeholders’ workshops and capacity building activities; and together with the project partners from the University of Cienfuegos, we will investigate the opportunities for further implementation of MAR concepts in Cuba and other LAC countries.