Water Supply - Confederaciones Hidrográficas

Water Supply in Andalucia - Confederaciones Hidrográficas

by Chris Chaplow

In Spain the overarching responsibly for water supply rests with organisations called  Confederaciones Hidrográficas. These align not with the autonomous communities  but the natural geographic water basins.  The  Hydrographic Confederations were created in 1926 and are public legal entities attached for administrative purposes to the current Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico, (Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge) through the Dirección General del Agua (Directorate General for Water).

The Hydrographic Confederations play an important role in many aspect of water supply. This includes hydrological planning, resources and management of supply, protection of the public water, concessions of private water use rights, water quality control, design and execution of new hydraulic infrastructures, dam safety programmes, and data banks.

Nine Hydrographic Confederations in Spain – Two covering Andalucia

There are nine Hydrographic Confederations in Spain, of which one Confederación Hidrográfica del Guadalquivir covers most of Andalucia and a little of its neighbouring regions. Since the River Guadiana is the border between southern Spain and Portugal, the Confederación Hidrográfica del Guadiana includes the western part of Huelva province and also Extramadura. There is also a very small part of the Confederation Hydraulica de Segura in eastern Andalucia.  

Three Coastal Zones

Along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Spain rainwater flows away from the watersheds of the Confederations Hidrogtaficas down towards the to the coast. In Andalucia these are divided into three zones; two Atlantic Ocean and one Mediterranean Sea:

Demarcacion Hidrografico de las Cuencas Mediterráneas Andaluzas

Demarcacion Hidrografico de las del Guadalete y Barbate

Demarcacion Hidrografico de las del Tinto, Odiel y Piedras

These Hidrographic demarcations are wholly located in Andalucia and therefor are agencies responsible to the Junta de Andalucia – Consejería de Sostenibilidad, Medio Ambiente and Economia Azul (Regional government environment department) rather than the national government.

Further information

If you are looking for detailed information about water supply management in Andalucia you need to consult with one of the five organisations described above.  Click on the list below to visit their website (in Spanish)