Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water

Councilor Nadal: ‘The ICRA-PROP water cycle research is strategic for the Government’

Friday, 14 April 2023

– The Minister of Research and Universities defends that the “sense of science” is contributions like those of the Girona center thanks to which “we have more room to face the current drought context and offer convincing answers”

– ICRA-CERCA participates in several research projects focused on implementing measures to manage the problem of drought.

The Minister for Research and Universities, Joaquim Nadal i Farreras, visited this morning the headquarters of the Catalan Water Research Institute (ICRA-CERCA), a research center specialized in the study of the water cycle water and management. Nadal highlighted “ICRA-PROP’s research around water, this scarce asset and at the moment capital for our country and a large part of the Mediterranean basin, is strategic for the Government”.

Along these lines, the head of Research and Universities has emphasized that “ICRA-CERCA has been working on drought research for almost 15 years, anticipating a rapidly growing problem. Thanks to this scientific contribution, we now have more room to face the current context of water scarcity and offer convincing answers. This is the meaning of science.

Nadal emphasized that the Research and University Department follows “very closely the activity of our research centers. As in the case of many universities and research centers, their excellence is often in front of the Government’s ability to provide resources, but our commitment is to invest more and more in reversing the years of cuts. The best thing a government that believes in the future of its country can do is invest in knowledge.”

For his part, the director of ICRA-CERCA, Damià Barceló i Cullerès, recalled that ” the aim of the Institute since its foundation has been focused on drought and the Mediterranean area, helping with the our research to combat the drought and providing value that Catalan companies can later turn into innovation and sell all over the world “.

As part of the visit to ICRA-CERCA, the councilor held a working meeting with the centre’s management, headed by director Barceló. Nadal had the opportunity to learn first-hand some of the main lines of research deployed, especially those related to the optimization of water management in the context of drought. After the meeting, the councilor toured several of the center’s scientific facilities, such as the pilot plant laboratory for waste water treatment, the mass spectrometry units and biological and molecular techniques or the installation Mesocosmos of experimental rivers.

Search for the optimization of water management

The Institut Català de Recerca de l’Aigua is a CERCA research center focused on research and knowledge transfer on the analysis, improvement and management of water, especially with regard to ecosystems and human activities . Located in the Science and Technology Park of the University of Girona (UdG), the center began its scientific activity in 2009 and its board of trustees is made up of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the UdG and the Catalan Water Agency (ACA ).

Among ICRA-CERCA’s various lines of research, the participation in three international projects aimed at implementing measures to manage the problem of drought, which is of particular importance in the current context, stands out. All three focus on the study of treatment and regeneration alternatives for grey, waste and storm water using nature-based systems to increase reuse.

The MULTISOURCE project investigates innovative tools based on the treatment, storage and reuse of urban water using green walls and with the development of a tool to help the selection of nature-based technologies (NBS). HYDROUSA focuses on the search for water treatment and reuse alternatives on Mediterranean islands, especially on organic micropollutants in water, soil, crops to guarantee the safety of regenerated water. Finally, the ReUseMP3 project develops an assistance tool for the optimized planning of regenerated water networks in cities ( ReWat ) for centralized, decentralized or semi-decentralized treatment and reuse scenarios.

In addition, it should be noted that ICRA-CERCA has developed a tool to select the best tertiary and advanced treatment alternatives for urban sewage treatment plants and to evaluate their implementation based on environmental, economic and social criteria. This tool has been implemented as part of the SUGGEREIX * project funded by the ACA.

Apart from these lines of research, ICRA-CERCA has active projects also related to the optimization of water management, such as LIFE-RECYCLO for the recycling of waste water from laundries with an oxidation process advanced; inventWater for the development of innovative predictive tools to adapt water quality management to a new climate; or DRYvER , for maintaining biodiversity, functional integrity and ecosystem services of intermittent basins.