The Duero river basin is an international basin shared by Spain and Portugal. It is located mainly within a Mediterranean climatic area, though water availability and desertification are not significant problems when compared with other Spanish catchments. However, the basin is located within a climate change hotspot and is not currently affected by water scarcity. Therefore, changes in the basin can be observed as an indicator of future changes across Europe. This makes the basin a useful test-lab in terms of adaptation needs as Europe faces challenges in terms of water resources management.
The Duero River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) is the key instrument for the management of water resources and the achievement of good status of water bodies according to the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). In addition, it helps implement the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC), the Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC), the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC), the Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) and other regulations. This RBMP is also linked to issues such as nature conservation, particularly the enhancement of rivers and wetlands as key habitats for increased biodiversity.
The objective of LIFE-IP RBMP-DUERO is to support compliance with the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Waste Water Treatment (UWWT) Directive, the Groundwater Directive (GWD), the Floods Directive (FD) and the Habitats Directive, by implementing the Duero River Basin Management Plan (RBMP).
The project will implement the RBMP in three sub-basins, those of the rivers Trabancos, Zapardiel and Arevalillo, where water bodies do not reach good ecological status, using a plan and corresponding measures. These will target issues like poor water body status, diffuse pollution and wastewater discharges, overexploitation of groundwater, river and wetlands restoration, biodiversity loss, and risk of floods or drought. Climate change is expected to have significant impacts, mainly by exacerbating existing problems.
As a primary aim, the project will design integrated tools that combine innovative approaches, namely:
In addition, a supporting objective is to help create synergies between water policies and other sectorial policies (e.g. agriculture), to develop effective and well-coordinated actions. A final supporting goal is to raise awareness of environmental problems and the importance of water and other natural capital in terms of climate change adaptation, to promote the participation of water users and relevant stakeholders.
In addition to the IP budget itself the project will facilitate the coordinated use of 8,525,000 EUR complementary funding from ERDF, H2020 and other public national funds. These complementary actions aim to support the implementation of the UWWT Directive, the Operation Programmes and Rural Development Plans linked to environmental challenges and water governance.