Catalan Water Agency ACA

Barcelona, Spain

Catalan Water Agency ACA

Barcelona, Spain
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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.

Benejam L.,University of Vic | Benejam L.,Center for Study of Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation Biology La Balca | Benejam L.,University of Girona | Saura-Mas S.,Center for Study of Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation Biology La Balca | And 6 more authors.
Ecology of Freshwater Fish | Year: 2016

Hydroelectricity is increasingly used worldwide as a source of renewable energy, and many mountain ranges have dozens or hundreds of hydropower plants, with many more being under construction or planned. Although the ecological impacts of large dams are relatively well known, the effects of small hydropower plants and their weirs have been much less investigated. We studied the effects of water diversion of small hydropower plants on fish assemblages in the upper Ter river basin (Catalonia, NE Spain), which has headwater reaches with good water quality and no large dams but many of such plants. We studied fish populations and habitat features on control and impacted reaches for water diversion of 16 hydropower plants. In the impacted reaches, there was a significantly lower presence of refuges for fish, poorer habitat quality, more pools and less riffles and macrophytes, and shallower water levels. We also observed higher fish abundance, larger mean fish size and better fish condition in the control than in impacted reaches, although the results were species-specific. Accordingly, species composition was also affected, with lower relative abundance of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and Pyrenean minnow (Phoxinus bigerri) in the impacted reaches and higher presence of stone loach (Barbatula quignardi) and Mediterranean barbel (Barbus meridionalis). Our study highlights the effects of water diversion of small hydropower plants from the individual to the population and community levels but probably underestimates them, urging for further assessment and mitigation of these ecological impacts. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Boix D.,University of Girona | Garcia-Berthou E.,University of Girona | Gascon S.,University of Girona | Benejam L.,University of Girona | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2010

Mediterranean rivers are characterized by frequent hydrological disturbances, including floods, droughts, and human impacts like water abstraction. During 2008 an exceptionally long drought in NE Spain was irregularly interrupted by rainfall events. We analyzed the relationships between the biological community structure with the ongoing and preceding hydrological patterns during the drought and recovery periods. We aimed: (1) to assess the role of hydrology on different biological assemblages (diatoms, macroinvertebrates and fish), (2) to determine which measures of community structure could be better related to hydrology, and (3) to determine the effects of water abstraction on river communities. Three subsets of variables (hydrological, spatial and environmental) were selected to determine the relative importance of hydrological alterations. Variation partitioning analysis and ordination methods were used to determine which subset of variables had higher effects on 20 parameters and six matrices (taxonomic and functional) of the biological communities. The analyses revealed that both parameters and matrices were significantly related to hydrological effects. Reservoirs intensified the effect of drought on downstream community composition and structure, as a result of the competition between human uses of water and environmental values. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Garcia-Galan M.J.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Garrido T.,Catalan Water Agency ACA | Fraile J.,Catalan Water Agency ACA | Ginebreda A.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | And 4 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

The present study describes an automated methodology based on a liquid chromatography-electrospray, tandem mass spectrometry method combined with online solid phase extraction (online SPE-LC-ESI-MS/MS) for the simultaneous analysis of 16 sulfonamides (SAs) and five of their acetylated metabolites in groundwater. The evaluation of the degree of SA pollution in groundwater was made through the analysis of a total of 39 samples taken in seven groundwater bodies of Catalonia (Spain). Recovery values obtained ranged from 34.3% (N 4-acetylsulfadiazine) to 134.4% (sulfabenzamide). The method limits of detection for all the analytes were 0.09-11 ng L-1. Sulfamethoxazole was the SA detected more frequently (56.4% of the samples), with an average concentration of 2.3 ng L-1, followed by sulfadimethoxine, present in 54% of the samples with an average concentration of 0.2 ng L-1. It should be highlighted that the acetylated metabolites were ubiquitous in the different samples, with frequencies of detection up to 36% and maximum concentrations of 18 ng L-1 (N 4- acetylsulfamerazine). © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Jorda-Capdevila D.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Rodriguez-Labajos B.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Bardina M.,Catalan Water Agency ACA
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2016

Fifteen water flow-dependent ecosystem services (ES) are modelled for the case of the Ter (Catalonia, Spain), a river with persisting intra- and inter-basin conflicts on water flows. The aim is to analyse ES response (and ensuing social reaction) to changes in water flow management, in a context of several tradeoffs and synergies driven by access to water use.We argue for a new modelling approach to integrate diverse values and perspectives through engaging with stakeholders' concerns and claims. This is done under different conditions, including droughts, wet years, and different options for managing flows. Our approach involves two stages, namely water allocation modelling, including scenario development, and ES provision modelling, including participatory design of service suitability curves. The method presented allows analysing spatial/temporal patterns and ES performance. The paper explains methodological innovation and its application to highlight the role of recurrent socio-environmental conflicts in water management decisions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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