Riverbank filtration (RBF) is considered a "natural" filtration technique in which the bed and bank areas of a river serve as "treatment" zones for the river water. When wells are placed adjacent to a river and pumped, the treatment zones remove most surface water pollutants. This technology has been in operation for more than a century in Europe and for more than half a century in the United States. In many areas of the world, particularly in the populated regions of India and China, RBF has significant potential. Riverbank filtration can be used along perennial as well as ephemeral rivers in desert countries. However, studies are needed to evaluate the connectivity of the surface water and ground water, dynamic variation of the redox zone(s), flash flood impacts, and climate changes for the sustainable operation of RBF systems in desert environments.