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Sant Joan Despí, Spain

Marce R.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Marce R.,University of Barcelona | Rodriguez-Arias M.T.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Garcia J.C.,Aigues Ter Llobregat ATLL | Armengol J.O.A.N.,University of Barcelona
Global Change Biology | Year: 2010

Low dissolved oxygen concentration in bottom layers of lakes and reservoirs usually indicates low water quality. In lakes, empirical models predicting anoxia are almost entirely based on the decay of plankton biomass, while in reservoirs recent findings suggest a prominent role of streamflow and load of organic carbon. This suggests a potential link between water quality in reservoirs and climate processes affecting streamflow. Here we support this hypothesis presenting evidence that both interannual climate variability and recent climate change, mainly consisting in a significant increase in potential evapotranspiration in the upstream basin, affected the oxygen content in a Mediterranean reservoir (Sau Reservoir, Spain). Using a 44-year monthly record, we found strong and consistent signatures of El Niño Southern Oscillation in the inflow and reservoir oxygen content. Spectral and wavelet techniques showed that the El Niño, streamflow, and reservoir oxygen content series oscillated in common periods, which coincided with the main El Niño variability modes. An empirical model explaining the annual oxygen content in the reservoir suggested that a decreasing streamflow trend reduced the oxygen content of the reservoir by about 20%, counteracting remediation measures implemented at the basin upstream the reservoir. Our results provide the first quantitative evidence of climate change effects on reservoir water quality using long-term instrumental data, and indicate that streamflow should be considered as a key variable in assessing climate change impact on reservoir water quality. These results are especially relevant in regions of the world where reservoirs are abundant and most climate models predict a decrease in runoff during the next decades. Both the expected trends and the sensitivity of reservoir water quality to global interannual climate variability should be considered for a correct management of water resources in the present and to design adaptation policies in the future. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Honey-Roses J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Honey-Roses J.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Acuna V.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Bardina M.,Catalan Water Agency ACA | And 9 more authors.
Ecological Economics | Year: 2013

Ecosystem services would be incorporated into decision making more often if researchers were to focus more on the demand for these services rather than the supply. This implies examining the economic, decision making and technological context of the end-user before trying to attribute economic values to well known biological processes. This paper provides an example of how this research approach for ecosystems services could unfold. In the Llobregat River in northeastern Spain, higher stream temperatures require water treatment managers to switch on costly water treatment equipment especially during warm months. This creates an opportunity to align the economic interests of downstream water users with the environmental goals of river managers. A restored riparian forest or an increase in stream flow could reduce the need for this expensive equipment by reducing stream temperatures below critical thresholds. We used the Stream Network Temperature Model (SNTEMP) to test the impact of increasing shading and discharge on stream temperature at the intake of the drinking water treatment plant. The value of the stream temperature ecosystem services provided by existing forests is €79,000 per year for the water treatment facility, while additional riparian forest restoration along the Llobregat River could generate economic savings for water treatment managers in the range of €57,000-€156,000 per year. Stream restoration at higher elevations would yield greater benefits than restoration in the lower reaches. Moderate increases in stream discharge (25%) could generate savings of €40,000 per year. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Sanz M.A.,Degremont | Miguel C.,Aigues Ter Llobregat ATLL
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2013

Barcelona-Llobregat Desalination Plant is actually the largest seawater desalination plant in Europe producing potable water from the seawater of the Mediterranean Sea. The plant is able to supply approximately the 20% of tap water of Barcelona Metropolitan area having a maximum capacity of 200,000 cubic meters per day. This project was developed by Aigü es Ter- Llobregat, public company of the Catalonian Government (Generalitat of Catalonian) to face the lack of water resources and to improve the water quality in Barcelona's south area. A Joint Venture of Degrémont, Aigü es de Barcelona and Dragados-Drace built the plant during a severe drought period in a extremely tight delivery time of 24 months. The plant was inaugurated on July 2009 and from this date the same JV is operating it. Barcelona-Llobregat SWRO plant won the Global Water Awards 2010 as the Desalination Plant of the year. A pilot plant was operating for two years to help in design and for getting experience with Mediterranean seawater. The facilities are located in El Prat, an industrial area between Barcelona Harbour and Llobregat mouth, just close to one of the waste water treatment plants of Barcelona, DepurBaix. A deep intake located 2 km offshore feed the plant avoiding the Llobregat river impact, especially for heavy rain period, and the harbour leaks. Sea water is pumped for more than three and a half km, crossing the river through an underground pipe. A very strong pre-treatment protect reverse osmosis (RO) membranes: a set of 10 SeaDAF®, high speed floatators, is the first step followed by 20 Mediazur® gravity filters and 20 SeaClean® pressurized dual media filters. The polishing is guaranteed by 18 cartridge filters of 5 microns. The silt density index15 of pretreated seawater is always below 3.0%/min, with an average of less than 2.5. Ten RO trains with a unitary production over 20,000m3/day are fed by individual HP pumps and the energy recovery is assured by a set of 23 PX220 per train. A partial second pass guarantees a boron concentration in treated water below 1.0 mg/l (two trains of 16,500m3/day). Remineralization is made with CO2 and upflow limestone filters with an innovative design. Potable water is pumped over 12km to Fontsanta reservoirs to be blended with waters coming from two potable water plants, one with electrodialysis reversal treatment. Brine have an innovative treatment: it is blended with treated water from DepurBaix waste water treatment plant in a ratio lower than 1:1 and discharged through diffusers at 50m depth to more than 3 km from intake. All effluents are treated before discharge and the plant has sludge treatment. The plant has increased the"green label" adding a wind generator and photovoltaic panels in the building roofs to minimize the electric internal consumption. The operational criteria and managing water production is another important chapter, because it takes into account all available resources. The paper will describe:- several innovative details of the plant and the construction; - the construction and operation feedback; - the criteria to decide the production of the plant; - the follow-up of main parameters of seawater and plant; - the real energy consumption in the different stages; - results of pre-treatment, RO trains and post-treatment from the first two years of operation; - and the integration of the plant in the regional water supply system, considering the principal factors:• Volume storage in the dams.• The operation of the drinking water plants.• The pluviometry and the climate predictions.• The regional water supply planning.The rest of the available resources (ground water, etc.). © 2013 Desalination Publications. Source

Miguel C.,Aigues Ter Llobregat ATLL | Arbos R.,Aigues Ter Llobregat ATLL | Romero J.,Aigues de Barcelona | Mesa J.,Aigues de Barcelona | Hernandez M.,Fundacion Centro Canario del Agua FCCA
Tecnologia del Agua | Year: 2012

The Llobregat desalination plant (200.000 m3/d) incorporates remineralisation treatment with up-flow calcite beds of and constant height. In the treatment, CO2 is dosed to permeate before moving up through the calcite bed. During the process a partial dissolution of the calcite is achieved that generates calcium bicarbonate. The treated water becomes, therefore, remineralised and reaches a Langelier Saturation Index very near to 0 and between the limits of ± 0.5. In addition to control and operation of the process, regulating the dose of CO2 is shown as the key factor for achieving the required remineralisation. Source

Raich-Montiu J.,Water Technology Center | Barios J.,Water Technology Center | Garcia V.,Laboratori | Medina M.E.,Aigues Ter Llobregat ATLL | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

The Barcelona Metropolitan Area (BMA) drinking water supply network has been based on surface water resources for decades. Those resources have experienced anthropogenic and environmental pressures, reducing their quantity and quality. Consequently, new infrastructure was built to improve the drinking water quality and to ensure the availability of the resources in recent years. Two drinking water treatment plants treating surface water with high salinity (e.g.; total dissolved solids of approximately 900 mg/L) from the Llobregat River, incorporated membrane technology (reverse osmosis in one case and reverse electrodialysis in the other case) to reduce the salinity levels. Additionally, a reverse osmosis sea water desalination treatment plant was built to avoid a lack of water, particularly during periods of extreme drought. The system was completed with a new distribution network interconnecting different resources to blend the water and achieve a high and uniform organoleptic water quality in the area. This study characterised the organoleptic quality of the water under this new scenario that integrates new water sources and blending options along the distribution zones of the BMA. The effect of membrane technologies (reverse osmosis and reverse electrodialysis), the influence of the type of water source on the disinfection by-product formation and water aggressiveness toward the network materials were also assessed. The membranes improved the water flavour and reduced the disinfection by-product formation potential and aggressiveness compared to conventional treatment. In addition, the water quality became less dependent on its source; if hydraulically possible, operation criteria could be defined to promote blends along the reservoirs and the network to improve and unify the organoleptic properties. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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