Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation

Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation
Plaza de España, Sector II
41071 Sevilla
Fax: 954 23 36 05
Tel.: 954 23 23 60



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Scope of the Plan

Guadalquivir57.527 Km2Andalucía51.900 Km2
Castilla-La Mancha4.100 Km2
Murcia6.445 Km2
Guadalete-Barbate6.445 Km2Andalucía6.445 Km2
Superficie Total del Plan63.972 Km2


Plan objetives

Get the best satisfaction of water demands and balance regional and sectorial development, increasing the availability of the resource, protecting its quality, economizing it use, in harmony with environment and other natural resources.

The plan criteria

  • Concept of water as a vital, environmental and economic resource
  • Unit of the hydrological cycle
  • Planification as a management tool
  • Managment of resources and demands under premises of sustainability

Basic ideas

  • Improvement of management and exploitation of water resources in order to  get a water economy through the increase of use efficiency
  • Modernization of irrigation infrastructure in irrigated areas by introducing multiple best techniques to reduce losses in transport and working conditions benefit of farmers in irrigation
  • Promotion of the implementation of modern irrigation system
  • Operating rules of aquifers
  • Catchments protection zones for supplies
  • Enhancing the formation of communities of users, specially groundwater
  • Actions aimed at joint use of surface and groundwater, artificial recharge as a means of struggle against exploitation and saline intrusion
  • Modernization of hydrological information (AHIS)
  • Water Resource Conservation
  • Setting targets and quality programs for river reaches
  • Definition of sensitive and vulnerable areas in accordance with the Community.
  • Complete waste water treatment
  • Recovery for public use of waterways and reservoirs, and harnessing the potential of the resource for recreation, fishing, etc.
  • Actions addressing the problems of erosion and desertification through hydrological-forestry activities, in coordination with the competent authorities.
  • Increased resources available
    • Increased regulation compatible with the environment
    • Operating system interfacing
    • Reuse, especially in coastal areas
    • Moderating demand
    • Limitation of new posts in deficit irrigation basins
    • Maximum unit allocations and irrigation supplies limited
    • Limitation of future irrigation area within the framework of the National Irrigation Plan and subject to balance balance
    • Elevation warranties supply

The physical framework and major water issues in the area of ​​the Guadalquivir Plan

The urban industrial component outweighs Guadalete in the case of Barbate, given the importance of its population in the area of the Plan.


The goal is to meet the demands specified in Article 38.1 of the Water Act.

The methodology for the assessment of resource-demand balances that have followed have been:

Determination of the water demands for consumptive and non consumptive uses in each of the horizons

  • Estimated resources used in each of these horizons can ensure current hydraulic system and its extensions
  • Hydraulic performance of local and global balances
  • Selection of appropriate procedures and actions to balance the deficit balances and resolve local

Sectoral distribution of demand in the state's 1992 Plan

 Urban industrialSingular industrialIrrigationEnvironmentalTotal demands
Guadalquivir426 (11.8%)76 (2,1%)2.874 (79,7%)230 (6,4%)3.606 (100%)
Guadalete - Barbate106 (25,7%)12 (3,0%)266 (64,9%)26 (6,4%)410 (100%)


Natural resources in the case of the Guadalquivir are Hm3/year 7230. The resources available are home on the relevant date of the Plan of 2,711 Hm3/year, of which 1894 correspond to the regulation of dams and the rest from groundwater and base flow. For Watershed Guadalete-Barbate, natural resources are Hm3/year 842, 307 Hm3/year being available also in the situation considered current Plan, which was for 1992.

Resources in the first horizon of the Plan

For the first horizon of the Plan, ten years have considered five alternatives that involve an increase in resources from 2712 to 3494 Hm3 Hm3 the maximalist reciprocating in the Guadalquivir and from 307 to the 449 Hm3 Hm3 in the case of Guadalete-Barbate.

The hypothesis called R1 in the Plan is made ​​up of the existing regulation works that were under construction when it adopted the guidelines of the Plan. The four remaining alternatives in the Plan are obtained by successive addition of new pieces of regulation to those contained in R1. As can be seen, assuming available resources maximalist reach 48% of the natives.

Resources in the second horizon of the Plan

For this horizon, twenty years of origin, have considered six different regulation hypothesis, which materialize the regulation works as they were classified in the Guidelines, available resources would reach the Guadalquivir Hm3 3592, remaining at Barbate Guadalete those considered for the first horizon, that is 449 Hm3. The resources available in that hipótesiis maximalist reach 50% of the natives in the case of the Guadalquivir.

Distribution and origin of the resources available in the current situation considered (1992) in the Plan (hm3/year)

Salado de Morón10,0 3,0013,00
Campiña Sevillana0,0022,8047,0069,80
Alto Genil125,0016,0078,60219,60
Hoya de Guadix0,0010,0029,0039,00
Alto Guadiana Menor44,0014,0020,8078,80
Guadalmellato63,007,86 70,86
Rivera de Huesna35,005,50 40,50
Regulación General1.237,50214,0099,401.550,30

Resources-demands balance


Have been considered for the evaluation of all returns balances, which are the excess portion of the resources provided, once satisfied the demands. Both come from farming and the urban-industrial and general criteria have been quantified as a percentage of the resources provided in meeting the various demands.

The strategic role of groundwater resources can be made in momenros drought, highlights the need to preserve them.

The water environment

Within the Standards Plan document, we find the following references:

  •     Relevant objectives: quality, protection, conservation and renovation of hydraulic
  •     It enhances the joint use of surface and groundwater by setting the operating systems in order to rationalize the use
  •     Endowments are established aimed at reducing consumption
  •     Establishing an ecological demand to achieve the objectives of quality in the various sections of the rivers
  •     Second priority is established as the minimum flow for environmental reasons
  •     Priorities are established for the reuse
  •     It prescribes the modernization of irrigation in order to better use and resource saving, setting goals to achieve in savings
  •     Indicates the conditions of microbiological quality for reuse
  •     Establishing measures to minimize the effects of environmental impacts of energy use
  •     Definition of water quality in a channel, use quality according to quality objectives for river sections
  •     Quality objectives in hydrogeological units
  •     Quality targets in free water mass
  •     Objectives of wastewater
  •     Quality control and general rules for the management and control of discharges
  •     Solid waste management
  •     Agricultural waste management
  •     Various liquid waste management
  •     Criteria for the development of programs to combat and eliminate pollution
  •     Standards for protection against diffuse pollution
  •     Perimeter protection of groundwater
  •     Protection of watersheds or portions of basins, river reaches inventory of environmental interest
  •     Sensitive and vulnerable areas
  •     Soil conservation and forest hydrological correction
  •     Aquifer Protection and Recovery
  •     Criteria regarding the environmental assessment of basic infrastructure and other activities

Extreme regimes



The actions of both structural and management is based on the following objectives:

  • All channels must be able to evacuate without harm Avenue 50 years return period at least.
  • On their way through the cities, in urban stretches, the channels have a capacity of drainage such that support, without damage, the avenue of 500 year recurrence period.
  • When in the urban sections of populations over 50,000, the flood zone area exceeding 500 years of law enforcement, it shall extend to the limits reached by it.
  • In urban sections of populations of fewer than 50,000 inhabitants, police kept the area and determine the avenue that it supports.
  • The works of others that affect the channels or their margins are dimensioned to evacuate undamaged Avenue 500 years of recurrence without worsening of preexisting conditions in the drain.
  • The reference flow for sizing the structural actions will be included in the study of extreme regimes, introducing the effect of the reservoirs rolling for you.



The management of water resources during recent droughts has set performance criteria, which should improve for the future. Aspects to include are:

  • Es necesario fijar las reservas mínimas necesarias para garantizar los abastecimientos como usos preferentes.
  • Deben establecerse los objetivos de ahorro de agua o reducción del consumo de abastecimientos, así como los sistemas de control oportunos.
  • Las disponibilidades para uso agrícola se deben fijar una vez deducidas las reservas de abastecimiento y de los otros usos prioritarios.
  • Se debe tender a que los riegos sufran equitativamente las consecuencias de la escasez: para ello es deseable la mayor interconexión posible entre los sistemas de riego.
  • Los cultivos plurianuales, en los que la no aplicación de agua mediante riego suponga daños irreparables para las plantas, deben recibir una atención preferente en la asignación del agua con el fin de garantizar su supervivencia.
  • Es necesario establecer normas de control y de sanción y garantizar su cumplimiento.

The Plan: a management tool for solving water problems in the watershed

Balancing the balance sheet: sustainability and meeting the demands

As the first objective of the Plan meeting the current and future demands by the rational use of resources and considering that both variables are subject to different growth assumptions based on the development of agriculture in the Basin, the largest consumer of water, and technical and environmental feasibility of the infrastructure necessary for increased resource availability, it is considered necessary the development of various future scenarios, defined as different combinations of hypotheses of evolution of resources and demands.

With regard to irrigation demands, the Plan includes various growth scenarios regarding the current situation, whose total area irrigated 527,008 hectares reach more restrictive assumptions and 655,042 hectares in the maximum development.

The Plan also different scenarios in relation to resources.

The combination of demand scenarios with assumptions of resources, leading to alternative scenarios, consideration of which is submitted to the Board of Basin Water, first, and ultimately, if necessary, the National Hydrological Plan, according to Article 43b) of Water Law.

In scenarios in which the regulation system has a negative balance, it would be necessary for cure, the transfer of resources from other watersheds in the same amount, at least the deficit reflected.

Watershed erosion

 Total forest area (Ha)Treeless areaScrub surfaceMarginal agricultural land
Guadalquivir basin2.3 millones45%19%13%
Guadalete-Barbate basin126.90051%19%3.3%

The Plan includes priority areas and lines of action and measures to develop both the Guadalquivir River Basin, including those relating to plans of other competent authorities.

Irrigation area improvement

The development of irrigation in the basin of the Guadalquivir, follow the guidelines of national policy in this area, in descending order of priority are:

  • Irrigation underfunded Consolidation
  • Improvement and modernization of existing irrigation
  • New changes in irrigation

The objectives proposed for the improvement of existing irrigation in the Guadalquivir basin are:

  • Conservation and upgrading of water infrastructure in irrigation, from their sockets in the reservoirs regulators
  • Saving water for this use by improving the efficiency of transportation systems, distribution and application of irrigation
  • Optimization of methods of operation to the adequacy of supply in demand
  • Reduced operating costs and maintenance of infrastructure, once it is upgraded
  • Transfer of operation and maintenance of facilities users, to take responsibility for its proper functioning

Modernization and improvement programs

To define the final program of modernization and improvement of irrigation in the Guadalquivir basin has broken the relationship of 19 irrigation schemes. These areas are considered in the national survey conducted by the DGOH is broken down into 39 areas of action characterized by a specific source of the resource, legislation singled out a ejecucióndiferenciada, a grouping of individual users and a unitary operation.

For the selection and priority in the works of improvement and modernization of an irrigation area have been taken into account the following aspects:

  • Socio-economic viability of the area
  • Water economy, expressed in total
  • Assessment of the ROI

The provision will reduce the gross-efficiency 0.6 m3 8085 - 1992, 6775 m3-efficiency to 0.72 - the second horizon, meanwhile, estimated useful savings is estimated at 136 hm 3 / year.

New changes in irrigation

The development of new changes in irrigation in the basin of the Guadalquivir is conditioned by water and soil availability, as the outlook for production and marketing resulting from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the GATT tariff agreements. In return for the possible limitations of growth are to consider the existence of a considerable human potential, high unemployment from the land of other regions without the kindness of the Guadalquivir valley agro-climatic and land holdings suitable structure that allows for quick installation of irrigation modern.

The latest tests conducted evaluated agrologic 1,300,000 hectares. surface suitable for irrigation in the basin, which is almost triple the dedicated today, so the availability of land is not a limitation for the development of new transformations.

For its part, the possibilities of regulation in the basin is limited, why the Guidelines set a forecast of total irrigation then revised in this plan, which considered various scenarios for growth of irrigation linked to the possibilities of regulation and the timely adjustment of the endowments. In such hypothesis also includes the special case of requests for irrigating about 70,000 ha. olive, cultivation in which, by drip irrigation, can be achieved with small endowments high production increases. In any case, it is obvious that the growth of irrigation limitations come from the supply of resources and hence the desirability of raising irrigation growth scenarios adapted to the supply of own resources of the basin or, where appropriate, transferred from another .

The area reached in a hypothetical scenario of 527,008 hectares will be minimal in the 2 nd horizon. It is a maximalist scenario this area would be 655,042 ha in the 2 nd horizon, considering both the full scope of the Plan.

Moreover, the CAP has led to complex mechanisms that restrict or even agricultural production quotas, some cotton and snuff, which, if they create new changes in irrigation should be accompanied by a reallocation among producers, osuperficies reference quota to enable them to acquire their right to produce (beet) or the perception of direct payments (cereals, oilseeds, etc.). without harming the whole industry.

The uncertainty of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) suggests that we must exercise caution in the implementation of future irrigation, and even an analysis of existing ones, in order to possible conversion in the framework of regulation that could established for this purpose by the competent bodies.

On the other hand, the GATT agreement that Spain was signed this year, has EU support to the unit area and head gabado always grant on historical references of area and yield, are not linked to the evolution of prices and no conditions on the use of fertilizers or other "inputs" agricultural.

Despite these limitations, irrigation of the Guadalquivir basin can be competitive in some sectors such as processed fruit and vegetables, olive growing in both table olives and oil mill and rice. In other cereals, oilseeds and other crops should consolidate the current market shares, both at home and abroad. As noted above, the consolidation of existing irrigated areas and the modernization and improvement of the same priority over the implementation of further changes in irrigation.

The general solutions to quantitative problems

Apart from the specific actions you set in relation to problems identified during the preceding text, we refer specifically to the general solution of quantitative problems.

  • Efficiency Increased water use from the modernization and improved management through the control of their consumption
  • Increased regulation by new reservoirs to ensure the availability of resources, being in any case, subject to feasibility construction to environmental manner set out in RD 1302/1986
  • Redistribution of resources through appropriate piping systems both within each system and between systems Exploitation
  • Rearrange the exploitation of groundwater aquifers through the use of underutilized and limited to the rate of replenishment of exploited
  • Integrated management of surface and groundwater resources
  • Reuse of treated wastewater in activities consistent with their level of debugging

Resources quality management

Surface water


The objectives of surface water quality have been divided into three main groups, as to the uses that are related to quality:

  • Prepotability: levels a1, a2, a3
  • Fish life, levels s (salmonid) and c (cyprinid)
  • Fitness for the bathroom

No explicit quality objectives considered for other uses (such risks or shellfish).

Quality standards refer to values ​​of various physical, chemical and biological have been deducted from the European Community Directives, which have been transposed into Spanish law.


The objectives of groundwater quality are:

  • Maintaining the current situation, perimeter protection permeable outcrops, streams and catchments for urban sufficiency.
  • Unquantified improvement of the current situation, perimeter protection and anti-urban and agricultural pollution.

In addition, we analyze the sensitive and vulnerable areas in coordination with the National Sanitation and Wastewater Treatment (PNSDAR).

Hydrological information management tool



  • Automatically provide real-time information on climatic, hydrological and hydraulic conditions of the infrastructure, that are meaningful and conditions of the management, control and hydraulic operation of the Basin.
  • Control and optimize short-term operation of reservoirs, canals and main lines of the Basin, both for purposes of satisfying demand and flood management.
  • Make medium-term forecast on availability of resources to optimize their allocation to different uses, irrigation, water supply, hydropower production, minimum environmental, etc.-both surface resources systems, as in joint use with groundwater resources .
  • Make short-term forecasts on the evolution of levels and flows in the rivers of the Basin and automatically generate alarms, which will minimize the damage caused by floods and floods.


Automatic network telemetry and data transmission in real time from the control points distributed across the Guadalquivir Basin to Basin Processing Center, located in Seville, including the necessary network equipment as capture, communication and power. To make more flexible operating system, includes an intermediate zone four centers: Jaen, Granada, Cordoba and Jerez.

Teams of information processing implemented in the Processing Center and Center Basin area, including a complex computer system, through which it can store and process data tele for later and then d eun commissioning period way, be able to predict the behavior of the Basin.


The communications system is designed based on the transmission via satellite, this circumstance made ​​possible by the availability of HISPASAT, contains the character of the Guadalquivir SAIH differential with respect to the systems already in place or being installed in Spain.

Environmental flows

To ensure aptitiud of the sections for the maintenance of fish life has been to ensure the circulation of the minimum flows at control points, as indicated in the table below:

Control pointMinimium flow(m3/s)
Río Guadalquivir aguas abajo de la presa de Pedro Marín1,6
Río Guadalquivir aguas abajo de la presa de Mengibar4,4
Río Guadalquivir aguas abajo de la presa del Carpio7,2
Río Guadalquivir aguas abajo de la presa de Alcalá del Río12,1
Rio Genil en Puente Genil1,5