On May 10, Koen Zuurbier (KWR) obtained his doctoral degree at the TU Delft on his findings during his research on ‘Increasing Freshwater Recovery upon Aquifer Storage’. This research on dedicated configurations of groundwater wells to improve the recovery of freshwater surpluses stored in a brackish-saline water formed one of the foundations for the Subsol project. In coastal areas, recovery of freshwater upon aquifer storage is often hampered by buoyancy effects: the injected freshwater is simply ‘lighter’ than the surrounding brackish-saline groundwater and is displaced to the top of the targeted aquifer. As a consequence, it can hardly be recovered unmixed, which significantly decreases freshwater recovery upon aquifer storage. Dr. Zuurbier developed new, dedicated well configurations of water wells to counteract this loss of recoverability and tested those at three locations in the Netherlands (Nootdorp, Ovezande, and the Westland). The promotion committee marked the performed research as ‘excellent’, practical, and extremely relevant for a more-and-more water scarce world.
The thesis can be found in the 'Results' section. Click here for a direct download.