Illustration of groundwater movement, zoomed-out view

Recharge is the introduction of surface water to groundwater storage such as an aquifer. Recharge or replenishment of groundwater supplies can occur in different ways. The most common type is natural recharge, which consists of precipitation, or other natural surface flows infiltrating and percolating into groundwater supplies. Artificial or induced recharge includes ways to increase groundwater supplies beyond what would occur naturally. Artificial techniques include water spreading (or flooding), ditches, and pumping techniques. Another type of recharge is incidental recharge. This consists of actions such as irrigation and water diversions which add to groundwater supplies but are intended for other purposes such as irrigation or transportation of water through a canal system. Recharge may also refer to the amount of water added to an aquifer.