With the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community
The LIFE Ebro Resilience P1 project (LIFE20 ENV/ES/00327), approved by the European Commission in the LIFE2020 call, will be carried out in three autonomous communities (La Rioja, Navarra and Aragón), with a duration of 6 years and a total budget of 13,310,350 €, with 55% of European funding.
It is an example of coordination and institutional cooperation in the intervention areas. The partners are the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), through the company TRAGSA and its affiliate TRAGSATEC; the Ebro Hydrographic Confederation; the Government of La Rioja; the Government of Navarra, through Environmental Management of Navarra, S.A. (GAN-NIK), the Government of Aragon and the Aragonese Water Institute.
The LIFE project develops actions in two intervention sections defined within the framework of the Ebro Resilience Strategy. All in line with the Flood Risk Management Plan of the Ebro River Basin District (PGRI).
The actions are also replicable for similar cases in other rivers of the Ebro basin and other Spanish and European basins. This circumstance has been of special interest to the Commission and was essential for obtaining the funding.
The actions included are:
- Section between Alfaro (La Rioja) and Castejón (Navarra): this is considered the demonstration part of the project. Includes works for the recovery of the fluvial space through the elimination and setting back of embankments, and the environmental restoration of three meanders. The morphological adaptation works will be carried out by TRAGSA under the direction of the Ebro Hydrographic Confederation (CHE) and the environmental restoration works by the Autonomous Governments of La Rioja and Navarra, the latter through GAN-NIK.
- Section between Osera de Ebro – Fuentes de Ebro (Zaragoza): an innovative intervention is proposed to allow the compatibility of an intensively cultivated agricultural area with the passage of floods. For this purpose, the creation of buffer zones for lateral flows has been defined. These buffer zones will compartmentalize agricultural land in areas that will be pre-flooded during flood episodes, generating water buffers that will minimize damage to crops and infrastructure. In addition, the capacity of the channel will be increased by recessing two sections of the defense embankment and creating new fluvial spaces that will be environmentally restored. This intervention will be carried out by TRAGSA under the construction management of the CHE and the Government of Aragón, while the environmental restoration will be executed by the Autonomous Community.
The actions will allow:
- Improving the impact of flooding in the intervention area by 60%. In addition, a 10% of river space will be increased in the intervention sections with the elimination of 1.8 km of embankments and the recessing of another 3.9 km.
- Improving the ecological status of the Ebro River in the intervention areas. 60 hectares of river areas will be recovered, including 3 meanders, and 20 hectares of riparian forest.
- Involving the local population in the project (22873 inhabitants).
- Improving native biodiversity by creating suitable habitats for 3 endangered species: Margaritifera auricularia, Potomida littoralis and Mustela lutreola. 2 hectares of exotic species will be eliminated.
- Using the actions of the project as a reference for the beginning of similar interventions in other areas of the middle stretch of the Ebro, following the measures contemplated in the PGRI.
- Replicating the actions at national and European level in other river basins with similar problems.
The LIFE Ebro Resilience P1 project is part of the Ebro Resilience Strategy, which, with the same intervention philosophy (innovation, technical analysis, administrative coordination and participation), is defining interventions to reduce the effects of floods in the middle stretch of the Ebro between Logroño and La Zaida (Zaragoza).