The Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) is launching the development of new projects for installing 1,200 piezometers and 500 measuring points to better assess the quantitative and qualitative conditions of aquifers in Spain. Project development is budgeted at 1,984,120 euros, and will help to better understand groundwater conditions in Spain. It will grow the existing network for quantitative monitoring of aquifers by more than 50% and the network for monitoring their chemical conditions by 15%.
The piezometric monitoring network of groundwater bodies in river basin areas is one of the main sources of information on the hydrological stress to which aquifers are exposed and on how climate change is impacting their recharge. Piezometers provide data on topographic, geological and climatic differences, as well as what the land where groundwater bodies are located is used for. Additionally, the aquifers’ physical boundaries and geological complexity can be assessed thanks to the strategic locations and measurement depths of the piezometers.
Project implementation will need an investment of over 40 million euros, within the framework of the Recovery, Transition and Resilience Plan. Once the piezometers have been built, the network monitoring the quantitative status of groundwater should increase from the current 2,300 points to a total of 4,000. The qualitative conditions network will grow to 3,500 water quality measurement points. The piezometric network will connect in real time to the Automated Hydrological Information System (SAIH) belonging to each Hydrographic Confederation.
Line of action
The new projects will complement those already implemented since 2018, thanks to which the existing piezometric network has been improved, serviced, and integrated into the automated hydrological information systems. Investment so far has been in the region of 20 million euros.
Work began in 2018 with a “Project to modernise the piezometric network and integrate it into hydrological information systems in the (Spanish) Autonomous Institutions”, with a 6.3 million euros investment. It permitted the servicing of 1,068 piezometers and installation of automation systems for level readings in 1,000 piezometers.
Along the same lines, a project for installing 93 new piezometers and automating an additional 500 piezometers was started last year, with a cost of 13.1 million euros and an implementation window of 30 months.