The Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) and the City of Madrid have agreed to commission the construction of the La China, Sur and Butarque wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to the state-owned enterprise ACUAES. This was decided at an online meeting held yesterday attended by Hugo Morán, State Secretary for the Environment and Teodoro Estrela, Water Director General, together with Borja Carabante, from the Environment and Mobility Department of the City of Madrid, José Antonio Martínez, General Coordinator of Environment, and Francisco Muñoz, Director General of Water Management and Green Spaces.
It is a comprehensive project that encompasses four actions: La China WWTP (168.9 million euros), Sur WWTP (340.5 million), Butarque WWTP (241.9 million) and Sur stormwater tank and additional sewer for the general overflow on the left margin (100 million). The three WWTPs will be newly built at the same location as existing ones which have reached the end of their useful life.
The project, which responds to European environmental requirements, will serve a population equivalent of over 2.5 million people, and its objective is to address water quality issues in the Manzanares stream and its effects downstream.
The option chosen to carry out the project is through the Spanish National Government, commissioning the entire project to the state-owned enterprise ACUAES, recovering 100% of the investment costs, after the Government of the Autonomous Community of Madrid decided that Canal de Isabel II, the entity in charge of water supply and sanitation services in the city of Madrid, would not undertake the project.
This required the amendment of ACUAES' direct management agreement to commission the set of project actions, as well as signing specific agreements with beneficiaries establishing the financing scheme and the recovery of the investment.
The project will not receive European funds from the 2014-2020 period, because the Autonomous Community of Madrid, classified as "more developed" in the Partnership Agreement with Spain, does not have such funds allocated for thematic objective 6: protect the environment and promote efficient resource use.
Ongoing environmental impact assessment
At the meeting, MITECO has informed the City about the progress of the work. The Environmental Impact Assessment is currently being prepared, together with the four basic designs, which are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020 in order to start the public information period.
The project intends to provide solutions using an integrated approach, considering the system (sewers, stormwater tanks and the three WWTPs) as a whole that must address water quality issues in the Manzanares stream and its effects downstream, thus having a positive impact on the Tagus River as well.