After a short general overview of the Dutch drinking water industry, the artificial recharge projects run by three drinking water companies situated in the West of The Netherlands are described in some detail. Because all the other groundwater in this part of the country is brackish, fresh groundwater from the sandy dunes along the coast has been employed as a source for drinking water from 1854. Since over 50 years, the fresh water reserves in the dunes are recharged with pretreated water from the rivers Meuse and Rhine and from the lake IJsselmeer. The various pretreatment steps, infiltration and abstraction practices and the final treatment steps employed are described, and related water quality issues are discussed. The drinking water produced is of high quality, is biologically stable and is distributed without additional disinfection. The drinking water companies put considerable effort in the protection of their water sources through (international) lobby organizations such as RIWA and IAWR, by cooperating with the water authorities and by carrying out specific projects aimed at reduction of emissions to the surface water. The presence of the drinking water companies has prevented residential development in the dunes, thus preserving unique nature in the most densely populated area in the country. Nature conservation and recreational aspect of the artificial recharge projects are described briefly.

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