New pumping and turbine station improves irrigation and water security

Renewable hydroelectric energy, less riverbed erosion and more water for irrigation and human consumption in the Guadalquivir basin, particularly during traditionally hot summer months, feature among the benefits of this major project in Andalucía.

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The source of the benefits is the planned construction of a pumping and turbine station at the foot of the Breña II dam as well as a water collection channel running 2 650 metres.

Winter waters meet summer demand

The focus of the project is to construct a pumping and turbine station, including piping and other components between the Guadiato River (near its confluence with the Guadalquivir River) and the Breña II reservoir. Once completed, the system will pump the excess winter volume from the Guadalquivir River into the reservoir for use in irrigation over summer. The water in the reservoir will also drive a turbine, restoring the energy balance in the system.

The station will generate up to 50 m3/s using eight pumps and will also have two turbines with total power of about 34 MW. The water collection channel 2 650 metres in length will run between the pumping and turbine station and the confluence of the Guadalquivir and Guadiato Rivers.

Trigger for modernisation of irrigation systems

The beneficiaries of the project will be some 21 000 residents and irrigators in the Guadalquivir basin, an area traditionally subject to water shortages due to the lack of regulation. The project will serve to increase the security of the supply, at the same time encouraging the modernisation of existing irrigation systems (with subsequent water savings) without the need to extend irrigation areas.

This project also shows that careful planning and construction can contribute to environmental sustainability, in this case through the production of renewable hydroelectric energy, less exploitation of local aquifers, less risk of salinisation and less erosion of the river bed.

Boost for farming income and jobs

It has been estimated that between 2007 and 2036 the project will yield substantial benefits in terms of tariffs applied to the additional water supply and of increases in farming incomes as a result of the improved water supply. The project is also forecast to directly create 100 jobs during the initial construction and development phase and 10 more jobs once the station is fully operational.


Draft date

28/09/2011