Water Quality

This area of research seeks to provide a complete and efficient response to the problems and challenges related to water quality, particularly in the Mediterranean area. The assessment of water quality as it is defined in this area—considering chemical, microbiological, and ecotoxicological
quality—allows identification of the tools needed for the adequate management and preservation of water bodies.

The main objective of this area is to define the concentrations, fate and mechanisms of action of pollutants and pathogenic elements in natural and reused waters. 

The most modern chemical, microbiological, and ecotoxicological analytical methods are being implemented to assess water quality and to examine the corresponding characteristics of surface waters, groundwaters, and treated water, the latter including both drinking and wastewater. Risk assessment of water pollutants is determined by analyzing the environmental impact of organic compounds in water bodies. Studies of the presence, diversity, and activity of microbes in the aquatic environment are another objective in this area.

Lines of research

The Water Quality Area's lines of research are:
AII1 Chemical contamination of water bodies
AII2 Pollutants in waste water
AII3 Quality and Microbial diversity
AII4 Ecotoxicological response of the biota to pollutants



Group leader

Damià Barcelò
Research Professor (CSIC Associated)

Ph.D. in Analytic Chemistry from University of Barcelona. Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Studies (IDAEA) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).Coordinator of the Research Group "Unit of Water Quality and Soil", Consolidated Research Group of the Regional Government of Catalonia.
His researcher career has been focused on the area of Water Quality, particullary in the development of methods for controlling organic pollution by the so-called “emerging pollutants” (polar pesticides, surfactants —detergents—, endocrine disruptors and pharmaceutical products) in waste and natural water.