Romania Management of Aquifer Recharge and Energy Storage (MARES)

Project Objective

The MARES G2G project aims to create a stimulating and stable environment for the use of underground water and energy buffers in those areas in Romania where the feasibility is proven. Secondly, the project aimed at establishing public-private partnerships in Romania that can boost the appropriate application of MARES techniques through the use of private or European funds.

Project Duration

The project started in 2010 and ended in 2012.


The main results and outputs of the project are:

  1. Technical feasibility analysis at national level for MARES and an identification of possible companies and/or organisations in Romania that can benefit from MARES applications. For artificial recharge applications, a dozen feasible sites have been identified. At a generic level, it has been concluded that soil and aquifer energy storage can be applied in Romania. Contrary to the situation in the Netherlands, there is a wider variation in geological conditions. Therefore local conditions determine which technique (open or closed systems) is best suited to aquifer energy storage.
  2. Despite the opportunities for MARES techniques, the main risk is the lack of appropriate legislative and organisational and institutional arrangements. The project has started transferring Dutch knowledge and experience with MARES, thus preparing a framework for integrated guidelines and legislation and cooperation between the private and public sector in working groups.
  3. Preliminary design and feasibility analysis of four concrete energy storage projects (demonstration project at INHGA premises, a new building at the Agricultural University and concept of combined applications of geothermal energy and aquifer energy storage in Bucharest and Cluj) and plans for updating existing artificial recharge works and establishing new installations. Specific consortia have been formed to achieve these initiatives. A large Romanian-Dutch consortium considered submitting a proposal on the IEE call closing at the beginning of May 2012, but had to conclude that the involvement of the end user could not be guaranteed at such short notice. The consortium is continuing its efforts. From the Dutch side, companies are analysing whether a PIB application at AgencyNL for soil energy in Romania is realistic. The MoEF has given high priority to artificial recharge projects for the planning period 2014-2020. To assist this process, the Partners for Water Programme has technically chosen to finance a specific project in Suceava and to improve the national analysis of artificial recharge techniques. Existing internal working groups at the MOeF on climate change adaptation and sustainability have been instructed to consider MARES as important options.
  4. About a hundred Romanian experts have been trained in MARES techniques during workshops in Romania and a working visit to the Netherlands. The training and scientific exchange will continue in the form of support by Deltares and Dutch universities to a PhD study of the Technical University of Bucharest, amongst others.