Case study:LIFE Segura Riverlink (Through rivers)

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Location: 38° 14' 3", -1° 30' 16"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site http://
Themes Fisheries, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Monitoring
Country Spain
Main contact forename Eduardo
Main contact surname Lafuente
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura
Contact organisation web site http://
Partner organisations Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura (CHS), Centro Tecnológico Agrario y Agroalimentario de la Universidad de Valladolid (ITAGRA-CT), Universidad de Murcia (UMU), Dirección General de Medio Ambiente de la Región de Murcia (CARM) & Asociación de Naturalistas del Sureste (ANSE)
Parent multi-site project

LIFE12 ENV/ES/001140

This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Project picture

Project summary

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The main objective of the project is to promote and support the environmental recovery of the Segura River Basin by improving and strengthening the connectivity between natural ecosystems, promoting the conservation of the area and improving its public use by:

1. Increasing the river ecosystems continuity and permeability in order to restore its natural dynamics and the mobility of the species along the Segura and Moratalla rivers

2. Combating ecosystem degradation and fragmentation to restore their role as ecological corridors

3. Improving the ecological status along both rivers

4. Increasing biodiversity of fluvial and riparian ecosystems

5. Promoting social awareness

6. Disseminating knowledge and transferring the results to the Segura River Basin Management Plan and to other areas with similar environmental problems

Monitoring surveys and results

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In order to validate these actions and evaluate the results, the project carried out a comprehensive monitoring program including biological, physical-chemical and hydromorphological indicators. This facilitated the subsequent transfer to the rest of the basin and other rivers with similar problems.

Monitoting actions were focused on :

+ Operation indicators at fish passage systems

+ Fish community and populations

+ Bird community and riverbanks associated fauna

+ Spatio-temporal dynamics of vegetation communities in the restored areas

+ Ecological status of water bodies and sediment monitoring in each weir

Lessons learnt

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Upon completion of the project, the following results have been listed:

+ More than 10,000 fish are using the fish passages. 80% of fishes which try to use the vertical-slot fishway achieves it, 50% does it in less than half an hour.

+ First weir removal within the Segura Basin

+ Volunteer collaboration and the landstewardship scheme are essential for the achievement of a favorable development of the riparian vegetation. In case of volunteers, thanks to its implication in plantation and refered to landowners for their commitment to properly mantain riversides and to avoid the development of alien species spots as in the case of Arundo Donax.

+ Results obtained by the removal of Arundo Donax have been diverse, depending on the area and the technique applied.

+ Plantation has been more effective for willows (Salix sp), poplars (Populus sp.), elms (Ulmus minor), mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus) and rosebay (Nerium oleander).

+ A proper implementation of the plantations, a good size of the holes, the location of each plant and the time of plantig are essential for the succes of the works.

+ One of the most succesful achievements has been giving visibility to the problem and to the project and the social awareness about it.

Image gallery

Scope of action
Removal of the Moratalla weir
Riparian vegetation plantation in "Los Charcos"
Landowners meeting in Hoya Garcia
Fish ladder
Fish passages

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district C. H. Segura
River basin Segura


River name Segura
Area category more than 10000 km²
Area (km2) 18870
18,870 km²
1,887,000 ha
Maximum altitude category 1000 - 2000 m
Maximum altitude (m) 1413
1,413 m
1.413 km
141,300 cm
Dominant geology
Ecoregion Ibero-Macaronesian
Dominant land cover
Waterbody ID

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Segura's River Bioremediation, Strengthening associated biodiversity of habitat 92A0 and control of Invasive Alien Species in the Segura River (LIFE + Ripisilvanatura) 2


Name río Segura entre Cañaverosa y Abarán, de aproximadamente 54 km de longitud, y en el tramo final del río Benamor hasta su confluencia con el río Segura
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology R-T14 & R-T16
WFD water body name Segura River
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation All - multiple designations across the site
Local/regional site designations SCI (Site of Commnuty Interest), Special Protection Zones for Birds (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Nature reserve, Protected Natural Space (PNS)
Protected species present No
Invasive species present Yes
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use Intensive agriculture (arable), Plantation forestry, Urban
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) 54000
54,000 m
54 km
5,400,000 cm
Project started 2013/08/01
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2017/07/30
Total cost category 1000 - 5000 k€
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources UE (49.83%)

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 Barriers to fish migration, Riparian development, Flood risk management
Hydromorphology Freshwater flow regime, Structure & condition of riparian/lake shore zones, Continuity for organisms
Biology Invasive species (Arundo Donax)
Other reasons for the project Removal of fish barriers and construction of fish passages


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Planting of native species, Removal of invasive species, Structuring of shoreline, Weir removal, Creation of fish passes
Floodplain / River corridor Improving fish migration, Alloctone species control
Planform / Channel pattern
Non-structural measures
Management interventions Management of undesirable plant species, Implementation of best practice land & soil management, Promotion of riparian vegetation and natural re-growth of bankside, Riparian tree planting, Removal of invasive species
Social measures (incl. engagement) Volunteer engagement, Creation of a Land Stewardship Network, Community education (talks and workshops


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Structure & condition of riparian/lake shore zones Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Improvement

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Invertebrates Yes Yes Yes Yes No No change
Macrophytes and/or phytobenthos: Average abundance Yes Yes No Yes No No change

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Temperature Yes Yes Yes No No No change
Oxygen balance Yes Yes Yes No No No change
Salinity Yes Yes Yes No No Improvement
PH Yes Yes Yes No No No change
Nutrient concentrations Yes Yes Yes No No No change

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Fish Yes Yes No Yes No No change
Birds Yes Yes No Yes No Inconclusive
Fish passage usage No Yes No Yes No Improvement
Riparian vegetation Yes Yes Yes Yes No Improvement

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

Link Description
http:// Folleto-riverlink-ingles.pdf Project brochure (English)
http:// Twitter profile of the project
http:// Facebook profile of the project
http:// Learnig guide for scholars about the project
http:// Manual BuenasPracticas Riverlink.pdf Handbook of good practices for implementing land stewardship
http:// Link to the documents with the project outcomes

Supplementary Information

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To contact us with any questions, suggestions or for more information please send an email to or do it through social networks:

Ripisilvanatura on Facebook : Segurariverlink Ripisilvanatura on Twitter : @segurariverlink