Case study:Guadiato Life project Model for restoring and integrating water resources in a mining area, actions for an alternative development

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Location: 38° 13' 25", -5° 6' 39"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Economic aspects, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Social benefits
Country Spain
Main contact forename José Luis
Main contact surname Mora Castaño
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Mancomunidad de Municipios Valle del Guadiato
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
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Project summary

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The project sought to counterbalance the adverse impacts being inflicted on the river Guadiato’s environment. It had the following objectives: 1. To foster alternative, environmentally-friendly, economic activities in the district. 2. To demonstrate suitable techniques for preventing erosion. 3. To initiate a restoration process for the banks of the River Guadiato, which were highly degraded in some areas and almost without vegetation in others. 4. To raise the community’s awareness of the need to improve the river’s environment, and to encourage participation in its revival. 5. To encourage the population to enjoy using the river. 6. To create jobs and discourage emigration from rural areas. 7. To contribute to the protection and conservation of fauna and flora inhabiting the riverbanks. This project counts with the support of local, regional, national and European institutions. The total budget for carry out the rehabilitation is 1.438.852'96 € and the financing comes from the LIFE initiative 587,287€ and the Consejería of Environment, Andalucía.

Work included educating the community on environmental protection and promoting environmentally-friendly behaviour.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Image gallery

Aerial view of La Coronada, municipality where a green filter has been placed
Aerial view of Guadiato River near Espiel. Ponds for the washing ore.
Guadiato River basin map. Taken from A. Morales, Hydrological and hydrochemical study of the upper and middle River Guadiato (Cordoba) 2003
Buttercups in the river Guadiato
Bioengineering in an old mine dump
Roman bridge in the river Guadiato
Guadiato River
Breeding ground created to generate the material for reforestation and to create local employment

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district C.H.Guadalquivir
River basin Guadalquivir


River name Guadiato
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2) 135 km²
13,500 ha
Maximum altitude category 200 - 500 m
Maximum altitude (m) 480 m
0.48 km
48,000 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous, Siliceous
Ecoregion Ibero-Macaronesian
Dominant land cover Extensive agriculture
Waterbody ID


Name Mancomunidad de municipios Valle del Guadiato
WFD water body codes LIFE00 ENV/E/000425
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
Pre-project morphology Sinuous
Reference morphology Sinuous
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present
Invasive species present
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use Extensive agriculture
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2001/11/01
Works started
Works completed 2004/10/01
Project completed
Total cost category 1000 - 5000 k€
Total cost (k€) 1439 k€
1,439,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources LIFE project 587.287€

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Riparian development
Hydromorphology Structure & condition of riparian zones
Other reasons for the project Community demand


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Reforestation and restoration of watercourses, Restoring riparian vegetation
Planform / Channel pattern
Other Install a "green filter" to treat waste water
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement) Improve forest management and agricultural, Community Education
Other Agenda 21


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
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Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
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Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

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Monitoring documents

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Supplementary Information

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