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Tordera river basin, Spain

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Case Study coordinators: Annelies Broekman and Diana PascualTordera society

BeWater Impact

  • High synergy with current River Basin Management Plan for the Catalan River Basin District: 20 measures from the 33 included in the adaptation plan are taken into consideration for implementation (2016-2021).
  • High synergy with the Montseny Natural Park and Biosphere Reserve LIFE Tritó project: 10 measures from the BeWater project were taken into account for forest and water management to go hand in hand restoring ecosystem functionality in the Tordera headwaters.
  • The experience based knowledge generated by the BeWater project is taken into account in the revision of the Catalan Strategy for Climate Change as a best practice to rise citizens’ awareness on efficient natural resource use and provide scientific information on the risks of climate change.
  • Different concrete proposals raised by BeWater process in the basin are mainstreamed into Municipal Action Plans for Adaptation (e.g.St. Celoni municipality), also pursuing increased collaboration between neighbouring areas.
  • Stakeholders that participated in the co-creation of the adaptation plan are pursuing the integration of the outcomes in their activities and express ownership of the plan, delivering a pro-active and fertile environment for the implementation at different scales and locations in the basin, like for example restoration of riparian vegetation or awareness raising activities.
  • Different project proposals, both at European level – such as H2020 program- and at national level – such as those assigned by the Foundation for Biodiversity from the Spanish Government – are developed to implement prioritised measures, such as the creation of an Integrated Plan for the Tordera Delta.

About the river basin

Tordera River Basin is a non-regulated river basin located in the northern part of Catalonia (NE Spain). Tordera presents typical Mediterranean conditions with a high environmental diversity, ranging from the mountain tops of the headwaters to the delta area.

It is a forested river basin (81%) with 10% of the land used for agriculture, which is concentrated in the intermediate and low sections, especially in the delta plain. Industry is also present, mainly in the intermediate section. Its coastal strip presents a high demographic pressure, both seasonal and permanent.

CSRB Challenges

  • Due to the effects of climate change river flows will decrease, especially in the upper parts of the Basin. Flow regime will also shift into new patterns, affecting flora and fauna of the basin.
  • Humid forests in the upper part of the basin will suffer the effects of climate change. General tendencies indicate carbon uptake by forests could change its trend from being a sink into becoming a carbon source.
  • Agriculture in the basin will face the effects of climate change too. Agronomic calendar changes will induce different crop and irrigation water management.
  • For the people living in the basin, climatic conditions will become more uncomfortable. Higher temperatures may also increase domestic water consumption levels.