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Canal shares its experiences of reusing water at the 12th International Congress of AEDyR

null Canal shares its experiences of reusing water at the 12th International Congress of AEDyR

Canal shares its experiences of reusing water at the 12th International Congress of AEDyR


National and international experts take part in this forum, held in Toledo between 23 and 25 October

  • The Culebro system, which distributes up to 30,000 cubic metres of reclaimed water per day, will be the main feature of one of the papers
  • Last year, Canal reused 16 cubic hectometres of water: this is more than the capacity of the Navacerrada reservoir

This week Canal de Isabel II is to take part in the 12th edition of the International Congress of the Spanish Association for Water Reuse and Desalination, AEDyR, held in Toledo between 23 and 25 October with the presence of numerous experts from businesses in the water sector and public and academic institutions.

The purpose of this congress is to offer a meeting point for experts in desalination, water reuse and treatment, in order to present the latest innovations, research and developments in these fields, and consequently to promote discussion, collaboration and the exchange of experiences and ideas.

On behalf of Canal de Isabel II, the directors of Operations and of Innovation and Engineering, Belén Benito and Juan Sánchez, and the deputy-director of Water Treatment and the Environment, Miguel Ángel Gálvez, will take part in technical sessions and round tables to study the present and future of technologies for reusing waste water, together with the main challenges and opportunities for improvement.

On the 23rd, Gálvez will be present at the technical session “Reclaiming and reuse” with the paper “A look at the water reclaimed through the Culebro system”, in which he explains the benefits of the supramunicipal model for the distribution of reclaimed water managed by Canal de Isabel II in the south of Madrid. From the Arroyo Culebro Cuenca Media waste water treatment plant, with a production capacity of up to 30,000 cubic
metres per day, and along 134 kilometres of distribution networks, Canal distributes reclaimed water for the irrigation of more than 1500 hectares of green zones in seven districts: Alcorcón, Leganés, Getafe, Fuenlabrada, Humanes, Parla and Pinto.

This model, a reference at global level, involved an investment of more than 45 million Euros, and permits daily savings of a quantity of drinking water equivalent to that consumed by a population of 150,000 inhabitants, such as Salamanca or Logroño. In addition, it offers significant benefits, including centralised quality control, and production costs which are far lower than the costs of building and managing a tertiary
plant in each of the districts.

Juan Sánchez and Belén Benito will take part in similar round tables on the morning of 24 October: Sánchez will be at the “Reuse, legislation, investment plans and new technologies” table, alongside experts from Castilla – La Mancha, Murcia and Valencia, and will present a vision of the development and use of reclaimed water in a future of shortages and climatic uncertainty.

The director of Operations for Canal, Belén Benito, will take part in “Management of available water resources. Planning and alternatives”. At this round table, where representatives from European, Latin American and global associations for desalination and from public administrations including the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Benito will highlight the reclaiming of treated waste water as a perfectly integrated alternative in the hydrological planning of Canal de Isabel II: since the initial experience of irrigation with reclaimed water in 2001, Canal has not stopped developing systems and networks for reusing water. They currently have 32 tertiary treatment plants with a nominal capacity of 313,300 cubic metres per day, plus 589 kilometres of distribution networks and 63 tanks.


The extension and promotion of the consumption of reclaimed water form part of the first line of the Canal de Isabel II Strategic Plan for 2018-2030. This line of action, which aims to guarantee supply, includes a flagship programme for reducing the water diverted for consumption per inhabitant by 25 % in 2030.

To achieve this objective, in addition to encouraging savings and efficiency in the distribution networks, Canal de Isabel II will be promoting the extension of the reclaimed water. In 2017 Canal produced more than 16 cubic hectometres of reclaimed water for the irrigation of parks and gardens. In addition, they sent more than 100 cubic hectometres of reclaimed water to the receiver basins in order to improve the quality of the water bodies in the Community of Madrid.

Canal de Isabel II was founded more than 165 years ago to supply water to the city of Madrid. It employs more than 2500 people working daily to provide a service to more than 6 million people in the region. It is an innovative company, a leader in its sector, and internationally recognised for its management of the integrated water cycle. It operates 13 reservoirs; 78 underground springs; 14 drinking water treatment plants; 17,556 kilometres of conveyance and distribution channels; 131 pumping stations for
drinking water and 133 for waste water; 14,956 kilometres of sewage networks; 65 storm tanks; 877 kilometres of sewers and outfalls; and 157 kilometres of reclaimed water channels.

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