Water governance in the action lab

Water governance

Aguas de Barcelona carries out the production and supply of drinking water in the study area, serving more than 2.8 million people in Barcelona and its metropolitan area. In the production of drinking water, water resources of different origin are used: surface water from two rivers (Ter and Llobregat), groundwater from two aquifers (Delta del Llobregat and Valle Bajo del Llobregat) and desalinated sea water, since the area It is located in the Mediterranean and suffers from water scarcity. In addition to the periodic droughts, the flow of rivers in this area is very variable (for example, in the LLobregat river it can go from 5 m3 / s in normal conditions to 2500 m3 / s in avenues), which represents a challenge in the purification process. As a consequence, there are very sophisticated water treatment plants that can produce good quality water in low flow conditions, when pollution levels are higher.

All the water resources in the area are subject to a high pressure of pollution of urban and industrial origin, since the area is highly urbanized and densely inhabited (for example, the LLobregat River receives the effluent of 63 wastewater treatment plants ). There is also an important agricultural activity that can impact the water quality of the aquifers in the area. Therefore, monitoring and modeling the fate of pesticides and fertilizers in this area is of great interest.