Control and monitoring program for measures to improve the longitudinal continuity of hydroelectric projects in the Duero Basin

As a result of the specific collaboration agreement signed by the Confederación Hidrográfica del Duero with the Instituto Tecnológico Agrario y Agroalimentario of the University of Valladolid (ITAGRA), this work has been carried out by the Grupo de Ecohidráulica Aplicada (GEA), Associated to ITAGRA and the University of Valladolid (UVA)

The works included in the agreement were:

  • Establishment of a methodology and protocol of field work measurements and controls to determine the degree of passability of weirs and dams of hydroelectrics exploitations.
  • Diagnosis of the bodies of water affected by the presence of dams and hydroelectric dams.
  • Evaluation of devices that are in operation or that will be operational during the period of validity of the agreement.
  • Incorporation of data, procedures and control points to the Operational Control Network, aimed at determining the status of bodies of water that are considered as not meeting their environmental objectives and evaluating changes in the status of said bodies as a result of the programs of measures.
  • Diffusion and dissemination of results.

Regarding the points raised in the first three points, you can consult both the methodology and results of these evaluations: Summary of performance evaluation of fish steps associated with hydroelectric plants in the basin of Duero.

With regard to the diffusion and dissemination point, in January 2016, the first edition of the Technical Conference on Measures to Improve Control and Monitoring of Fish Passing Devices in the Duero Basin was held at the PRAE facilities in Valladolid, based on the work done so far (Link to the program of the conference)

A summary of the issues discussed at the conference is available at the following link .


The expected outcomes of this project are the following ones:

• Development of some guidelines for the production of a detailed mapping of the borders of the River and Wetland SCI/SPAs in Castilla y León.

• Detailed mapping of habitats and correction of the cartographic borders of 9 Wetland SCIs (1:5,000) and of 30 River SCIs (1:10,000) which lack detailed mapping at the moment.

• Updating of the normal forms of the Natura 2000 database of the SCI/SPAs targeted in the project.

• Centralization of the census information and studies about flora and fauna species of Communitarian importance that are linked to water and are present in the Mediterranean biogeographic region of Castilla y León.

• Development of studies on taxonomical groups about which there is a lack of information nowadays (invertebrate species, bats, water flora and amphibians of Communitarian importance).

• Development of studies about species that indicate the rivers and wetlands environmental quality (ardeas, marsh harriers and picidae).

• Assessment of the main exotic flora and fauna invading species present within the territorial scope of the project.

• Establishment of guidelines and management measures for preventing, controlling, eradicating and monitoring exotic flora and fauna invading species linked to the water environment in Castilla y León.

• Eradication of those specimens of exotic invading species that will be caught while sampling.

• Limnological assessment of SCI/SPAs within the territorial scope of the project where the requirements set by the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats and Birds Directives are included.

• Integration of the Natura 2000 network within the monitoring networks carried out by Hydrological Societies.

• Data collection in water areas that are not assessed by the actual water quality and quantity monitoring networks.

• Assessment of the landscape conservation condition and of the territorial areas linked to water environments, that are also considered to be a keystone for guaranteeing and implementing connectivity within the
Natura 2000 Network (Wetlands classified at regional standards, river reservoirs within the Mediterranean biogeographic regional scope not belonging to the Natura 2000 network and crypto-wetlands, which are interesting because they include habitats and species of Communitarian importance).

• Categorization and assessment of the condition of conservation and usefulness of the proposed ecological corridors and identification of critical areas where the connections functionality is in danger.

• Inclusion within the National Wetlands Inventory of high natural value wetlands that are relevant to the regional connectivity and are not currently part of the Natura 2000 network.

• Assessment of strains and threats to the River and Wetland SCI/SPAs within the Castilla y León Mediterranean biogeographic region.

• Establishment of guidelines to develop a computer programme for monitoring the SCI/SPAs management and the conservation condition of habitats and species of Communitarian importance.

• Availability of a Natura 2000 network cartographic viewer that must be accessible from the environment website of the Junta de Castilla y León.

• Designing the stakeholding course of action around the elaboration and implementation of the Management and Monitoring Programme of the Natura 2000 network within the Castilla y León Mediterranean biogeographic region.

• Creation and approval of a shared Management Programme for the River and Wetland Mediterranean SCI/SPAs in Castilla y León.

• Development of a Programme for monitoring species and habitats of Communitarian importance in River and Wetland SCI/SPAs within the Castilla y León Mediterranean biogeographic region.

• The communication plan must be regularly reviewed and updated.

• Elaboration and availability of a Spanish and English webpage that must be steadily updated with all the information related to the project as well as the outcomes of the actions carried out.

• Informative report written in Spanish and English (Layman´s report)

• To improve the outcomes of the actions intended in LIFE+ with the contributions of other professional as well as the divulgation of the project in regional, state and European spheres.

• Training of the main agents responsible for the environmental surveillance, territorial management and environmental education linked to the regional administration as regards the management and monitoring of the Natura 2000 network.

• To improve schoolchildren awareness of the Natura 2000 network by raising their concerns about the necessity and importance of preserving habitat, species and ecological processes linked to river and wetland environments.