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Artificial recharge is the process whereby surface water is transferred underground to be stored in an aquifer.The most common methods used involve injecting water into boreholes and transferring water into spreading basins where it infiltrates the subsurface. Underground water storage is an efficient way to store water because it is not vulnerable to evaporation losses and it is relatively safe from contamination. Internationally, artificial recharge is becoming an increasingly recognised form of water storage and conservation. South Africa has one major established artificial recharge scheme (Atlantis), however, this technology is underutilised and together with proper groundwater management, artificial recharge can contribute significantly towards maximising the use and sustainability of available water resources. The purposes and methods of artificial recharge, and local and international examples are described in Section B of the Artificial Recharge Strategy.

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