LIFE REGENERA LIMIA - Development of demostrative solutions to reduce the water contamination of agrarian origin in the Limia basin

LIFE13 ENV/ES/000227

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Contact details:

Contact person: Alberto de Anta Montero
Tel: 34988366180
Fax: 34988366175
Email: adeanta@chminosil.es

Project description:


The Galician region of Limia is a rural area, which is heavily dependent on agriculture. Howevcer, farming is also one of the main contributors to changes in the water quality in the river Limia basin – identified by monitoring and studies carried out by the CHMS.

Problems arise when, either through diffuse sources or direct spills, large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds are deposited into the basin – mainly from agricultural activities, but also from urban waste. The causal link between farming activities and their negative impact on the aquatic environment is due to the application of (organic and chemical) fertilisers, which cause diffuse pollution in both surface and ground water. Farming is also linked to the significant reduction, or even removal, of riparian forest, with subsequent damage to river ecosystems.

This Limia river basin area covers several protected areas, including the Natura 2000 sites “ZEPA A Limia”, “Veiga de Ponteliñares”, and “ZEPA Baixa Limia -Serra do Xurés”.


LIFE REGENERA LIMIA aims to protect and regenerate the region’s river system, by demonstrating a series of techniques to reduce the presence of certain nutrients in the region’s fresh water supply, in particular those associated with agricultural activities.

Specific objectives are to: 1. Demonstrate better environmental management of farmland through the use of organic fertilisers. This will be done using an online integrated control system showing both economic and environmental gains;

2. Develop solutions for improved management of farm waste: the project proposes to create intensive artificial wetlands (a system of ponds) as a natural method of water-filtering; 3. Prove that the environmental regeneration of modified rivers, and the regeneration and reconnection of pond systems, are possible and can contribute to reducing both the presence of nutrients in the water and eutrophication. Such interventions would allow for the recovery of local ecosystems of importance to the Natura 2000 sites; and 4. Improve the distribution of information related to the use of fertilisers among farmers and other concerned professionals.

Expected results: The expected results include:

  • A soil map and nutrient retention indexes of the region’s farmland;
  • An integrated fertiliser control system for farmland – to serve as an online tool for the use of fertilisers;
  • Ten plots of farmland monitored through the pilot control system;
  • A 30% reduction in the use of fertilisers per plot of land dedicated to crops (potatoes, cereals and vegetables);
  • A 50% reduction in the use of fertilisers per pasture plot;
  • A 60% reduction in greenhouse gases, by reducing the application of dung, slurry and nitrogenised mineral fertilisers;
  • An artificial pond system created as a prototype for wastewater treatment;
  • The treatment of 53 m3 of slurry per day (this equates to the waste generated by over 1 000 female pigs) in a closed cycle, by means of the artificial wetland;
  • Approximately 5 ha of former floodplain restored to its original status in the “Veiga Ponteliñares” Natura 2000 site;
  • An reduction in the average concentration of pollution parameters in the water flowing from the Veiga Ponteliñares Natura 2000 site: 15% reduction in nitrates; 15% in ammonium; 15% in phosphorus and 30% of BOD5;
  • The restoration on 5-10 ha of a degraded sand pond and its integration into the Laguna de Antela canal system;
  • Monitoring of water quality, biological indicators and GHGs present in the nutrients of the soil on the demonstration plots.



Environmental issues addressed:


Biodiversity issues - High Nature Value farmland
Habitats - Freshwater
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Risk management - Pollutants reduction
Risk management - Pollution control
Water - Water quality improvement
Water - Water resources protection


fertiliser‚  environmental impact of agriculture‚  eutrophication‚  protected area‚  wetlands ecosystem‚  decision making support‚  water quality improvement‚  water monitoring‚  agricultural pollution‚  water quality‚  water resources management‚  water pollution‚  river management

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Confederación Hidrográfica del Miño- Sil
Type of organisation Development agency
Description The Confederación Hidrográfica del Miño- Sil (CHMS), manages the Spanish part of the Miño-Sil river basin in the north-west of Spain. Its functions include monitoring the quality of both surface and ground water within its territory. It is also responsible for the development, monitoring and review of the management plan for the river basin, and the administration and control of public water. The CHMS has over 100 employees.
Partners ECOLAGUNAS(Arquitectura, Enxeñería e Sostebilidade, S.L.), Spain DP Ourense(Diputación Provincial de Ourense), Spain DXCN(Dirección Xeral de Conservación da Natureza de la Consellería de Medio Ambiente, Territorio e Infraestructuras de la Xunta de Galicia), Spain COREN(Cooperativas Orensanas, S.C.G), Spain


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000227
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 30-JUN -2017
Total budget 2,053,808.00 €
EU contribution 858,741.00 €
Project location Galicia(España)


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