Review of GIS Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for Managed Aquifer Recharge in Semi-Arid Regions



Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) embeds techniques for purposefully increasing the recharge to confined or unconfined aquifers. For aquifers subject to freshwater extraction, MAR constitutes a central component for sustainability—particularly in semi-arid regions, where climate change and population growth drive water scarcity toward a complex societal problem. Geographic information systems (GIS) coupled with multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) can be used for MAR suitability mapping to identify suitable areas for implementation of MAR. In other words, GIS-MCDA aids decision-makers to effectively choose the appropriate locations, with the flexibility of incorporating local contingencies if needed. Although numerous applications of GIS-MCDA are reported in the literature, the important linkage between MAR technique selection and suitability mapping with GIS-MCDA is largely left unfocused. This chapter provides an updated overview of GIS-MCDA for MAR suitability mapping in semi-arid regions and exemplifies key features that depend on the MAR technique considered with subsequent influence on the methodology. The potential of suitability mapping is discussed along with shortcomings of this methodology. Lastly, directions for future research are hypothesized.


GIS-MCDA MAR Aquifer Groundwater 


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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simona Stadpipe AS, R&D DepartmentStadlandetNorway
  2. 2.University of Bergen, Geophysical InstituteBergenNorway
  3. 3.University of Bergen, Bjerknes Centre for Climate ResearchBergenNorway
  4. 4.CIMA Research Foundation - International Centre on Environmental MonitoringSavonaItaly
  5. 5.Department of HydrogeologyHelmholtz-Zentrum für UmweltforschungLeipzigGermany

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