WRRC Brown Bag Webinar: The 21st Century Water Quality Challenges for Managed Aquifer Recharge

MAR photo




Yan Zheng, PhD
Chair Professor, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, and Co-Chair for the International Association of Hydrogeologists’ Managing Aquifer Recharge Commission

View the recorded webinar

The sustainability of groundwater is threatened by overexploitation and by pollution, exacerbated by perturbations of hydrological cycle stemming from climate change exerting poorly understood water quantity and quality risks with uncertain outcomes. A recent UNESCO publication on managed aquifer recharge (MAR) has provided unequivocal evidence that MAR is a sustainable nature-based engineering approach for enhancing climate resilience and other social, economic, and environmental benefits of groundwater. However, continued MAR implementation is challenged by over 80,000 synthetic chemicals in use by today’s society, and emerging biohazards including viruses. This WRRC Brown Bag presentation discusses how MAR professionals may tackle the 21st century water quality challenges. New findings on incomplete biodegradation of antibiotics, a type of trace organic pollutants, will be described. Given the threat of a large number of novel chemical and biological entities, it is suggested that groundwater monitoring programs pay more attention to them when justified, especially when MAR is used to bank large quantities of groundwater. Policy recommendations will be presented.

dr. yan-zheng

Dr. Yan Zheng

Dr. Yan Zheng became a Chair Professor at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), in Shenzhen, China in 2016. Her multi-disciplinary research contributed to the reduction of exposure to arsenic among private well households in Bangladesh, China, and USA. Dr. Zheng has published extensively in geochemistry, hydrogeology, environmental health, and policy. She obtained her PhD from Columbia University in 1999. Between 1998 and 2016, she held tenured faculty and administrative appointments at the City University of New York and research appointments at Columbia University. Dr. Zheng was a water and sanitation specialist with UNICEF Bangladesh between 2009 and 2011. Currently, she serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Environmental Earth Sciences, and as a Co-Chair for the International Association of Hydrogeologists – Managing Aquifer Recharge Commission. Dr. Zheng was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2010, and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2021.