Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) is a sustainable way to use seasonal water resources. ASR involves injecting drinking water into a suitable aquifer (an underground geological formation that holds water) for storage, with the intent to recover it for later use. ASR gained momentum in Oregon in the 1990s and is being used throughout the state and elsewhere, including overseas. Western Oregon’s climate is well-suited for ASR because water is plentiful during the rainy winter months, but not readily available in the dry summer months when water demands are at their highest. ASR wells are recharged (filled with water) during the winter when the rivers are high and treatment facilities have excess capacity. During the hot summer months, the stored water is pumped from the ASR wells and used to meet peak water demands that may exceed available summer sources, such as Hagg Lake and Barney Reservoir.
It is important to note that ASR alone cannot meet all future storage needs in the region. While ASR is a very helpful water management tool, it requires unique geological formations to be successful and ASR locations can be difficult to secure. Both Tualatin Valley Water District and City of Beaverton have found and developed successful ASR sites within their systems.
ASR sites may be developed in the future for JWC partners.