Canal de Isabel II strengthens its leadership and commitment to sustainability in its water cycle management 

Back Canal de Isabel II strengthens its leadership and commitment to sustainability in its water cycle management 

Canal de Isabel II strengthens its leadership and commitment to sustainability in its water cycle management 


Water regeneration, care of recipient waterways, and generation of clean energy have characterised the company’s sustainability policy

  • The public company has published its Annual Sustainability Report, in which its reviews its corporate and environmental achievements in 2019
  • The document links the company’s business strategy with the acheivement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)


Canal de Isabel II published its Annual Sustainability Report 2019 on its corporate website, in which the public company sets out its achievements and progress in environmental, social, labour and operational areas throughout the 2019 fiscal year. On this occasion, Canal has broken down its activity using the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations as a reference, with which the company has expressed its commitment and involvement. 

Thus, the report, which can now be consulted on the Canal de Isabel II website and is also in English, reviews the actions carried out by the company throughout 2019, linking them both to the SDG and to the ten lines set out in the public company's Strategic Plan 2018-2030

Particularly noteworthy is Canal's commitment to sustainability in water supply thanks to the use of regenerated water for irrigating parks and gardens, street washing and industrial uses. Throughout 2019, Canal reused almost 16 cubic hectometres of water for irrigating green areas (equivalent to one and a half times the capacity of the Navacerrada reservoir), and regenerated another 106 hm3 to be discharged into recipient waterways with even higher quality than the treated water. With these data, Canal de Isabel II produces 36 % of all regenerated water in Spain.  
Also, in order to care for the recipient waterways and to promote excellence in urban drainage network management, in 2019 Canal launched the first agreements with municipalities to renew and optimize their municipal sewage networks. Canal plans to invest 1.5 billion euros until 2030 in the so-called Sanea Plan, which seeks to convert Autonomous Community of Madrid’s sewereage network into the most efficient and modern one in Spain. This will ensure proper wastewater transport and treatment of wastewater, ensure the care of the recipient waterways and reduce both the risk of flooding and odours.


Regarding electricity generation, Canal has continued to focus on two lines that reinforce the sustainability of its management: self-production and the purchase of energy with a 100 % renewable certificate of origin. Integrated water cycle management involves a high energy expenditure, and therefore the public company seeks, on the one hand, to avoid the use of non-renewable energy, and, on the other, to take advantage of the possibilities of generating clean and highly efficient energy from its activity in order to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact. 

Thus, in 2019 the company managed to break its record for electrical self-production, reaching 77 % of the total energy consumed, thanks to an installed power of 107.6 MW (in mini-hydraulic plants; microturbines in distribution networks, cogeneration facilities, motor-generation from biogas; hydraulic jumps in treatment plants and photovoltaic panels). Canal’s goal is to reach 100 % self-production in 2030.

With this energy policy, Canal has managed to avoid the emission of 25,947 tonnes of CO2, and by purchasing energy with a 100 % renewable guarantee of origin, 74,551 tonnes of CO2 have been avoided.

The 2019 Annual Sustainability Report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting standards and is intended to reflect the actions and commitments of Canal de Isabel II throughout the 2019 fiscal year. This Annual Report combines information mainly from the parent company and part of that provided by Canal Group companies. 

The contents of this report have also been independently verified by Canal de Isabel II‘s current auditors for 2019 (the auditing firm AUREN), attaching the verification report that includes its scope and the results obtained.

Canal de Isabel II was founded almost 170 years ago to supply water to the city of Madrid. Today, its more than 2,800 employees provide a service to over 6 million people in the region. It is an innovative, 100% public company, a leader in its sector, and internationally recognised for its management of all phases of the integrated water cycle. 

It operates 13 reservoirs; 78 spring tappings; 14 drinking water treatment plants; 17,651 kilometres of conveyance and distribution channels; 131 pumping stations for drinking water and 133 for waste water; 15,317 kilometres of sewage networks; 65 storm tanks; 157 waste water treatment stations; and 651 kilometres of regenerated water channels.