This project, implemented over a 10-year period, improves available resource through the capture and treatment of urban and industrial wastewater flows and returning them for direct or indirect re-use in irrigation. A key element to the project’s success was the enaction of policy and legislation that enforces the “Polluter Pays” principle, enabling waste water treatment and recovery to be operated on a cost recovery basis. The project required the construction of 97 advanced wastewater treatment plants, 350km of sewer, and the introduction of a robust system to monitor industrial discharges.

At a project cost of US$917 million, 75-80% of which received co-funding from European Funds, it achieved 100 million m3/year of wastewater return flows that were previously unusable. It was also able to make a connection to 99% of urban areas to sewers and substantially increase the river’s quality for the people of Murcia and beyond.