An introduction to the first element of the 3R approach: recharge

June 10th, 2016By: Rain editor

The 3R approach of recharging, retaining and re-using water increases storage capacity at the scale of a sub-basin and improves its management. The first element of this approach is recharge. By adding water to the buffer, recharge contributes to water circulation.


Recharge comes in many forms. An introduction to the first element of the 3R approach:


– Natural recharge. Comes from the interception of rain and run-off water.
– Managed aquifer recharge. The result of increased infiltration of natural processes by manmade interventions.
– Incidental recharge. A by-product of some other factor, like inefficient irrigation or leaking pipes in water supply systems.

Recharge at scale requires managing natural recharge, applying artificial recharge and controlling incidental recharge. This has been done in India, China and Kenya and turned around large-scale degradation. The resulting critical mass established a foundation for capacity building and local investments.

Recharge demonstrates water shouldn’t only be managed when it is scarce


The first element of the 3R approach demonstrates that water should not only be managed when it is scarce, but also when it is abundant. Better water management and climate change adaption are necessary everywhere. More info on all 3R solutions? Simply contact RAIN.