CREAMAgua - Creation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems for improvement of water quality and biodiversity in agricultural basins

LIFE09 ENV/ES/000431

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Francisca GALLEGO OLIVA
Tel: +34 974 570 090
Fax: +34 974 570860
Email: fr.gallego@monegros.net

Project description:


In rural areas, agricultural practices have often led to the contamination of water resources. This has typically come from the high nitrate and phosphate contents of agricultural products and water run offs. The Monegros area in the Ebro river basin has been suffering from increasing degradation of water quality in most of its rivers, mainly caused by the intensification of agriculture. This has caused decreases in biodiversity and the quality of the natural ecosystem. One way of tackling this problem is to reduce the quantity of nitrates applied to the field. Another option is to remove these nutrients using natural systems, such as wetland management. Various studies and projects have proved that the creation of wetlands on agricultural land can lead to effective reduction in nutrient content. However, there is still a need to demonstrate their effectiveness at river-basin level at controlling the exportation of nutrients. There is also a need to successfully couple wetland creation with complementary measures such as river bank restoration and increasing biodiversity.


This project aims to introduce ‘natural’ ecosystem structures of wetlands and riverbank forests to reduce inorganic nutrients - nitrates and phosphates - and salts from agricultural runoff in the entire Monegros area. It will seek to work with local farmers in the management of the wetlands constructed. Each wetland should have a local institution in charge of its maintenance and management. The project should achieve a general improvement in water quality of the River Flumen. It targets a reduction of the nitrate concentration below the threshold established by the Water Framework Directive (50 mg/l) and a reduction in phosphate concentrations. The measures introduced aim to improve biodiversity in the targeted areas that have been degraded by intensive agricultural use. Specifically the project targets the establishment of permanent populations of birds, amphibians and invertebrates in the wetlands and improved aquatic biodiversity.

Expected results:

  • Creation of wetlands and riverbank forests;
  • Reduction of nitrates below the WFD threshold in the River Flumen;
  • Reduction of phosphates in the river basin;
  • Enhancement of local biodiversity; and
  • Integration of the project measures in the new river basin management plans stipulated by the WFD.



Environmental issues addressed:


Water - River basin management
Water - Water quality improvement


agricultural method‚  environmental impact of agriculture‚  water quality improvement‚  rural area‚  pollutant elimination‚  restoration measure

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Comarca de los Monegros
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The “Comarca de los Monegros” is a local public entity in charge of natural resources, agriculture and land management for a group of municipalities. It has created a private company and an independent investigation centre (IEIM) on natural resource management and protection.
Partners Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro, Spain KV Consultores de Ingeniería, Proyectos y Obras S.L., Spain Organismo Autónomo Instituto de Estudios e Investigación de Los Monegros, Spain Fundación para la Promoción de la Juventud y el Deporte de la Comarca de Los Monegros, Spain Grupo TRAGSA, Spain


Project reference LIFE09 ENV/ES/000431
Duration 01-JAN-2011 to 31-DEC -2014
Total budget 1,884,304.00 €
EU contribution 898,677.00 €
Project location Aragón(España)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version