Canal de Isabel II receives the 2nd Madrid Subterra Prize for its commitment to energy efficiency

null Canal de Isabel II receives the 2nd Madrid Subterra Prize for its commitment to energy efficiency

Canal de Isabel II receives the 2nd Madrid Subterra Prize for its commitment to energy efficiency


The company's objective is to ensure that 100 % of its electrical energy is self-supplied by 2030

  • Linchpins in the strategy include its commitment to the circular economy, clean energy production and emissions reduction
  • Canal de Isabel II is developing two pioneering European centres of excellence for wastewater management
  • Díaz Ayuso received the award within the framework of COP25, in recognition of the public company’s commitment to innovation 

Today at the COP25 Climate Summit, the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, received the 2nd Madrid Subterra Prize, recognising Canal de Isabel II’s work on innovation in energy efficiency and optimisation of resources within the framework of the circular economy

The president of the regional government explained that the goal of the public company, which is responsible for integrated water management across the Community of Madrid, is to achieve 100 % energy self-supply by 2030 from renewable or high efficiency sources, making it the first European company in its sector whose energy generation will be equal to or greater than its consumption. Among all the companies in the Community of Madrid, Canal already has the greatest installed capacity for electric power generation, with a total power of 107.1 megawatts.

During 2018, Canal de Isabel II consumed a total of almost 460,000 megawatt hours of electricity throughout the Community of Madrid in order to manage the abstraction, treatment, distribution, sanitation, purification and reuse of water in the region.

Aware of the significance of this level of consumption, Canal de Isabel II has been developing initiatives for the generation of electrical energy through synergistic water management processes, such as microturbines in supply networks and WWTPs, cogeneration through sludge treatment, hydroelectric power plants and power generation plants using biogas.

Thanks to these initiatives, in 2018 Canal’s facilities produced 68% of its electrical energy consumption - the equivalent of the annual consumption of a town such as Móstoles - which prevented the release of 77,100 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso also talked about Canal’s development of centres of excellence and wastewater research, which will be pioneering at European level. These include the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Water Drainage, in Meco, and the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Water Purification, in Torrejón de Ardoz.

The two new centres, explained Díaz Ayuso, will be “open to universities, companies and technology centres for developing new water management technologies. Having young talented people is essential to innovation, technological development and pioneering projects”, said the president. She also recognised the work of Madrid Subterra, an organisation which channels university talent with the aim of harnessing potential underground energy, and stated her intention for Canal to follow in the footsteps of the Madrid Metro and join its project.

The award received today also recognises Canal’s role as guarantor of the water supply to the majority of municipalities in the Madrid region, based on a municipal model which has earned both national and international recognition.


The public company Canal de Isabel II received the award within the framework of the COP25 climate summit, where the Community of Madrid participated in over 30 activities, including lectures, conferences and seminars focused on water management and climate change mitigation.

Canal de Isabel II has been playing an active part in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25). At various events and forums, the company has talked about its business strategy’s firm commitment to energy efficiency, the circular economy, the use of renewable energy and sustainable development. Its Strategic Plan 2030 is aligned with the sustainable development goals and includes actions that not only aim to guarantee the water supply in times of scarcity but also to decarbonise Canal’s activities, reduce CO2 emissions, commit to self-supply and clean and high-efficiency sources of energy, and reassess and make use of by-products as a fundamental line of support for the circular economy.

One of its most visible actions was the distribution to all summit attendees of more than 20,000 reusable, recyclable glass bottles, bearing the motto #deMadridydelGrifo (from Madrid and from the tap). In addition to promoting the consumption of tap water, supplied by Canal de Isabel II and made available through the installation of drinking water fountains in the Climate Summit venue, these bottles have helped reduce the use of single-use plastic.

The company also organised a seminar on water and climate change, as well as visits for both Summit delegates and the general public to the El Atazar dam, one of the most important facilities in the region and the largest dam supplying the Community of Madrid.

Canal de Isabel II was founded almost 170 years ago to supply water to the city of Madrid and today its more than 2,800 employees work every day to provide services to over 6 million people throughout the region. An innovative public company and a leader in its sector, it has gained international recognition for its integrated water management.

The company operates 13 reservoirs, 78 groundwater abstraction systems, a 17,601-kilometre conveyance and distribution network, 131 pumping stations for drinking water and 133 for wastewater, 15,083 kilometres of sewer system networks, 65 storm tanks, 157 wastewater treatment plants and a 615-kilometre reclaimed water network.