WaterProtect: Promoting the protection of drinking water in metropolitan areas

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 727450

The protection of drinking water quality requires joint actions by all users and managers of this resource: the industry in general, and in particular water, farmers and ranchers, public agencies and consumers. In this context, WaterProtect, a project that began in June 2017 and is funded by the Framework Program for Research and Innovation of the European Union Horizon 2020 (contract No. 727450), aims to develop new strategies and tools for better water governance in seven study areas (action labs) spread over a total of seven member states (Belgium, Romania, Poland, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Spain). To do this, through a participatory approach that involves the different actors in each study area, the main pollution problems in each study area will be identified and strategies and tools to control water quality will be designed, which are fully accessible. On the other hand, different attenuating measures of pollution will be evaluated and the use of those most appropriate in each case will be promoted. The results of WaterProtect will be used for the development of new governance models and regulations in the water framework at European level.

One of the study areas considered in WaterProtect is the lower Llobregat river basin (Baix Llobregat). With an extension of 120 km2, and located in the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona, ​​it is a clear example of an area whose water resources can be compromised by the intensity of agricultural, urban and industrial activities that take place in the area, and the size of the population to which it must be supplied with drinking water, since it is an area with a very high population density. The Spanish participation in this project is led by the Institute of Environmental Diagnosis and Water Studies of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (IDAEA-CSIC), and has relevant actors in the management of water in the study area: a community of users (Comunitat d'Usuaris d'Aigües of la vall baixa i del delta del riu Llobregat (CUADLL)), the local drinking water company (Aguas de Barcelona) and the managing body of the Agrarian Park of Bajo Llobregat (Consorci del Parc Agrari del Baix Llobregat (CPBLL)). In addition, the project has the support of organizations such as the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), the Ministry of Public Health and the Office of Rural Development of the Generalitat de Catalunya, FCC AQUALIA SA, Mercabarna, Unió de Pagesos and the City Council de Molins de Rei, who have expressed their interest in the project.

WaterProtect, in which a total of 27 partners participate and which is coordinated by the Belgian research and technology organization VITO, has a duration of 36 months. The progress of the activities developed in the framework of this project can be followed in the international page of the project www.water-protect.eu and in the page of the local area of ​​action of Baix Llobregat www.protect-baixllobregat.com.


Monday, 22 January 2018