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

ICRA RESEARCH: The CityPoll Project, impact of urban pollution on fluvial biodiversity during extreme climate events

Wednesday, 14 June 2023

CityPoll “ City runoff pollution impacts on river biodiversity under extreme climatic events” is a project funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Projects of ecological transition and digital transition 2021, TED2021-129966B-C31. It is coordinated by ICRA-CERCA (Sergi Sabater and Mira Petrovic) and includes, in addition to ICRA, the University of Barcelona (Isabel Muñoz) and the University of the Basque Country (Arturo Elosegi and Aitor Larrañaga).

The main objective of the project is to define the impact of urban rainwater runoff on natural ecosystems and its association with climate change. Through the project , the chemical and hydrological impact of these inputs on biodiversity and the functions of river ecosystems will be assessed. Urban stormwater reaches rivers during episodes of rain, and can represent an impact, especially when these occur after long periods of drought. These episodes of rain clean urban surfaces and can contribute a varied range of pollutants. The effects of these pollutants on the receiving fluvial ecosystems are little known, and it is likely that their impact will grow as a result of climate change.

CityPoll addresses this lack of information by multidisciplinary research that includes expertise in hydrology, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology and ecology. CityPoll combines 3 sub-projects: sub-project 1 (ICRA-CERCA) on hydrology, chemistry and their effects on biofilms: sub-project 2 (UB) on ecotoxicological effects on invertebrates and the emission of greenhouse gases; subproject 3 (UPV/EHU) on the functioning of ecosystems and on the mitigating effects of buffer zones.