Water management at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport
Actions taken in an exceptional drought scenario
Due to the exceptional drought scenario in the municipal districts where Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport is located, and following the guidelines set out by the relevant authorities, Aena has taken the following steps:
Survival drip irrigation from 8:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m.
Elimination of grass sprinkler irrigation.
Cleaning roads, pavements, façades, etc, with non-potable water (from wells).
The Airport is also taking other action in its facilities to contribute to proper water management and saving.
Installation of automated elements to save water in the toilets.
Reduction of cleaning flushing on the sanitation network.
Improving the water quality control system to reduce the amount of water ejected from the cooling system.
Introducing systems for automated leak detection, network maintenance, and monitoring and improving control of consumption enabling better water rationalisation.
Awareness-raising measures among personnel and users for responsible water use.
Commitment to saving water and responsible consumption
The water consumed at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport comes from an external company and several wells located in the airport grounds. The water supplied by the external company is used for human consumption and the fluxor system. The water obtained from the airport's well (water from the deep aquifer) is used for human consumption (once made potable) and for the fluxor system, irrigation and the firefighting system (non-potable water).
In the next few months, Aena plans to reduce extraction from, and dependence on, the deep aquifer wells to optimise their integrity, boosting the use of water regenerated within the water recovery cycle. Regenerated water will be used for irrigation and the sanitation cisterns, obtained via a basic treatment pipeline from the Prat water regeneration station, that wastewater is also emptied into. With this action, it is planned to save around 120,000 m3 consumption per year, with a maximum flow of 1,000-1,200 m3 each day in the summer season.
Aena's commitment to reducing consumption of this valuable resource has given rise to a strategic plan for water management at the airports. In this regard, the company’s 2021-2030 Sustainability Strategy has a programme specifically for an efficient water footprint.
More information about Aena's Water management here.
Contribution to maintaining the Llobregat delta aquifers
Within the Llobregat delta hydrological area, Aena carries out work on conservation and rewilding its surroundings on the land it acquired to develop the environmental compensation included in the Environmental Impact Statement approved in 2002 for the runway expansions in the current Master Plan. The commitments taken on allowed new protected wetlands to be created and conservation of the water resources to be set up that Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport has included within its management lines.
Furthermore, as provided for in the Environmental Impact Statement approved in 2002, with the aim of combating saline intrusion into the Delta aquifers, Aena is carrying out environmental work on the water, with controlled extraction from the coastal wells as well as the transfer of water from the airport´s drainage channels to the lagoons in its surroundings, in such a way that optimum levels of its sheets of water are maintained, the correct state of which is ensured with monthly analyses that examine around a hundred parameters.
Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport also partially carries out care of the water levels at the La Ricarda lagoon, as a commitment to environmental compensation due to the latest runway expansion. To do so, Aena designed a proposal, which was approved by the Catalonia Government Territory and Sustainability Department, consisting of taking on the adaptation of the system for pumping water from the network of drainage trenches at the airport supported by water from the deep aquifer, in order to ensure the quantity and quality of the supplies.