Direct Management Agreement modification authorised to include new initiatives with investment of €526 million

State trading company ACUAES is to undertake priority wastewater treatment and sanitation projects in the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León and Galicia, with investment of €519 million. The new Direct Management Agreement (CGD) envisages work on the Cogotas reservoir, which, with investment of €7 million, seeks to guarantee water supply to the city of Ávila. The initiatives will be co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF 2014-2020) within the framework of the Pluri-regional Operational Programme for Spain (POPE).


On Friday last, the Spanish Cabinet authorised the modification of the Direct Management Agreement for the construction and operation of water infrastructure. This agreement was formally entered into on June 30, 2014, by the then Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs (now the Ministry for Ecological Transition) and state-owned trading company Aguas de las Cuencas de España, S.A (ACUAES).

The modification arises from the urgent need for action to be taken on a number of sanitation systems. These systems are either the subject of infringement procedures opened by the European Commission for failure to comply with Directive 91/271/EEC on urban wastewater treatment or systems in which irregularities have been detected. This modification also enables the necessary measures to be taken to alleviate water scarcity problems currently affecting the city of Ávila.

By virtue of this agreement, ACUAES will undertake new initiatives involving total expenditure of €526 million, of which €519 million is earmarked for 20 new sanitation and wastewater treatment initiatives. The remaining €7 million has been allocated for work on the Cogotas reservoir in the province of Ávila.

Initiatives by Autonomous Community

A significant proportion of these new projects will be carried out in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, whose sanitation and wastewater treatment system is insufficient and fails to comply with the wastewater treatment parameters set out by European Union. On the Island of Tenerife, work will be carried out on the sanitation and wastewater treatment systems in Arona Este, San Miguel, Granadilla, Tenerife Oeste, Acentejo and Valle de la Orotava.

On the island of Lanzarote, initiatives will be carried out to improve the sanitation and wastewater treatment system, and the Arrecife outfall and the Tías Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) will be the subject of extension work. Gran Canaria will see the extension to the Jinámar WWTP and its subsea outfall.

The new initiatives planned for the Balearic Islands include the construction of a WWTP in Palma de Mallorca and a new WWTP, sewage network and discharge system for Can Picafort in the municipality of Santa Margalida.

In Castilla y León, ACUAES will extend the Miranda de Ebro WWTP in the province of Burgos. This is a very important project for the municipality, whose current plant is operating at the limit of its capacity. The new plant will prevent pollution of the Ebro River as it passes through Miranda de Ebro.

The newly-ratified Direct Management Agreement includes the project to enable the use of the Cogotas reservoir to guarantee the supply of water to Ávila, which is affected by supply problems that become worse in periods of drought. Investment totalling €7 million is envisaged for this project.

In Andalusiasanitation and wastewater treatment projects will be undertaken in Arriate, Benaoján-Montejaque, Jimera de Líbar and Cortes de la Frontera (Guadiaro River Basin), in the province of Malaga. In Cadiz, sanitation and wastewater treatment projects will be carried out in San Roque and other urban pockets in Campo de Gibraltar. In the Comarca de la Janda, a sanitation project will see the renovation of the general collector sewers and the pumping station, while a new WWTP will be built to serve Barbate and Zahara de los Atunes.

In the province of Huelva, a new WWTP will be built in Mazagón and the sewage and wastewater treatment networks will be extended in the municipalities of Moguer, La Palma del Condado, Trigueros, Beas and San Juan del Puerto.

In Galicia, sanitation and wastewater treatment facilities will be constructed in Illa de Arousa, Poio and Sanxenxo, while the Ponteareas WWTP in Pontevedra will be extended.

In Castilla-La Mancha, work will be carried out on the sanitation and wastewater treatment system in the municipality of Quintanar de la Orden (Toledo), within the framework of the general initiative to enhance sanitation and wastewater treatment facilities in the municipalities of the Las Tablas de Daimiel area.

This list of new wastewater treatment initiatives comes in addition to those already entrusted to ACUAES in municipalities such as Soria and Santiago de Compostela, as well as the entire sanitation system of the Amarguillo River Basin, which includes the construction of new WWTPs in a number of municipalities in the province of Toledo, including Madridejos, Consuegra and Villafranca de los Caballeros. Work has already commenced in the latter two municipalities.

A significant number of these projects are at an advanced procedural stage, meaning that it will soon be possible to commence tender procedures for some of the infrastructure. For example, thanks to an agreement between ACUAES and the Water Council of the Island of Tenerife, tender procedures can be immediately opened for the execution of sanitation and wastewater treatment projects in Granadilla and Tenerife Oeste. The tender documents for these contracts, worth a total of €70 million, were drafted by ACUAES in accordance with Clause Seven of the current Direct Management Agreement.

It is envisaged that most of these initiatives will be co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF 2014-2020) within the framework of the Pluri-regional Operational Programme for Spain (POPE).

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