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Aigües de Barcelona approves €955 to continue tackling drought in Catalonia

  • Aigües Barcelona approves €955 to continue tackling drought in Catalonia
    Water microfiltration section of the Baix Llobregat wastewater treatment plant.
    Credit: David Zorrakino - Europa Press.

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The public-private water company of Aigües de Barcelona, in Spain, has announced an investment of 955 million euros (approximately $1 billion dollars) to guarantee the future of water in the metropolitan area of Barcelona amid a prolonged drought.

Over the next four years, the firm will carry out all the actions underway and those planned to deal with the drought in Catalonia, the company said in a statement.

Moreover, Aigües de Barcelona has reiterated its commitment to maintain its public-private partnership model in dialogue with workers, administration, shareholders and society in general, as well as with social action, innovation and sustainability.

The agreement implies continuing to carry out all the actions underway and those planned on extraordinary and urgent measures for the next four years

The agreement includes the commissioning, already in operation, of a facility that directly connects groundwater to the ozonation treatment line and activated carbon filters at the Sant Joan Despí (Barcelona) Drinking Water Treatment Plant (DWTP), to separate surface water (treated with reverse osmosis) from groundwater, which will provide greater resilience.

Another project includes building the first phase of the Besòs DWTP, which will recover water from the Reguera Condal, as well as extending the plant. The aim is to increase production  by building new wells and capturing surface water from the Besòs. This project will deliver a total water supply of 15 per cent of current consumption in the metropolitan region.

Reverse osmosis is also being extended at the Estrella wells in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, in Barcelona, where a new reverse osmosis line and a new activated carbon line are being constructed. This will guarantee the use of the aquifer, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025.

There are also plans to extend the reverse osmosis treatment at the Sant Joan Despí DWTP, which will make the plant "the most advanced in Europe" and increase resilience and treatment capacity with an increase of up to 4 m/s in production capacity with reverse osmosis.

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