Water Quality

Energy savings in WWTPs

Following a rigorous and systematic methodology, we can develop for a given wastewater treatment plant, control systems that allow the optimization of energy consumption, such as the control of the oxygen supply in aerobic biological processes. This achieves a stable and correct operation of the biological process while minimizing the energy consumption of the aeration equipment.

Calibration of biological process parameters of WWTPs

A methodology for the calibration of the biological process parameters in a WWTP has been developed which allows the calibration of the parameters of the activated sludge model No. 2 (ASM2) of the IAWQ by means of experimental determinations in laboratory and computer simulations.

Characterization and studies of wastewater

From the analysis of COD, BOD, ammonium, nitrate, total nitrogen, orthophosphate, total phosphorus, suspended solids and percentage of volatiles, volatile fatty acids and alkalinity performed to wastewater before the purification process, as well as pilot plant studies, we can analyze the different possible treatments, establishing the most adequate and efficient for your WWTP.

WWTP Control

We have the capacity for the development of control systems of Wastewater Treatment Plants, so that we optimize processes such as the biological elimination of nitrogen, or the production of volatile acids in primary decanters for the improvement of the biological elimination of phosphorus, among others.

Diagnosis and optimization of WWTPs

Through the DESASS software, we simulate the operation of a Wastewater Treatment Plant already built, in order to optimize its operation. With this, we can establish different strategies of action, taking into account possible restrictions, and determine which the most economically viable alternatives are.

WWTP Design

Thanks to the use of the DESASS Software developed by CALAGUA, and based on the characterization of the effluent to be treated, we can compare the results obtained by simulating different treatment alternatives, considering even seasonal variations in the flow and composition of the effluent to be treated. The mathematical model implemented allows the design of sewage plants that include: primary decanters, activated sludge systems for the biological elimination of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus, secondary decanters, thickeners, systems for the generation of volatile acids by primary slush fermentation and anaerobic and aerobic slush digestion treatments.

Recovery of nutrients present in wastewater

In the anaerobic digestion of sludge, the release of the phosphorus that forms part of the cellular tissue and of the phosphorus stored intracellularly by the PAOs occurs, reaching high concentrations of phosphorus that cause the precipitation of phosphorus compounds in the digester and in the pipes, causing maintenance problems. In addition, non-precipitated phosphorus recirculates at the top of the plant deteriorating the biological phosphorus removal process. These operating problems can be solved by including in the treatment scheme a crystallization stage where the phosphorus is recovered in the form of a struvite and the plant is operated in such a way as to minimize precipitation in the anaerobic digestion. All this has several advantages apart from those already mentioned. On one hand, the recovered compound can be used in agriculture as a fertilizer, reducing aeration costs in the nitrification - denitrification process. On the other hand, problems of clogging and deterioration of pipes by the precipitation of phosphorus are minimized. Thanks to the knowledge acquired during the past years of research, we have the techniques for the optimal implementation in WWTPs of the described process.

Forestry Science and Technology


Quality control of mycorrhizal plant in the nursery with species of the Tuber genus. Mycorrhizal bioassays. Quality control of truffle plantations. Feasibility analysis of truffle plantation projects. Management and counseling of truffle forestry. Projects of areas with fire-fighting reserves.

Eco-hydrological and environmental monitoring

Installation and equipment for the control and recording of data and ecohydrological and environmental variables that allow for the monitoring of the hydrological cycle (rainfall, infiltration, runoff, evaporation, transpiration, interception, runoff, deep drainage, etc.), the biogeochemical cycles, the decomposition of organic matter and mineralization of organic nitrogen, the efficiency in water use, the resilience of ecosystems to climate change, the environmental effects on soil and vegetation, etc, in plots, hillsides and small watersheds.

Hydrological-forest restoration and plant quality

Quality control in forest restoration and plant quality. Development of programs to improve plant quality (genetic, morphological, physiological and biological and marketable quality) and plant quality standards for reforestation. Improvement and protocolization of the nursery culture of forest species. Improvement of results in forest restoration programs for watersheds.

Forest Planning/management and watershed ordination in a context of global change

Plans for forest development, hydrological planning of watersheds and soil conservation. Quantification and enhancement of environmental services in Mediterranean forests (water, carbon/biomass, resilience to climate change, fungi, pastures, etc.). Studies of the effects of disturbances (droughts, fires, pests, etc.) in forest ecosystems. Adaptive forestry to climate change. Modeling and forecasting under different scenarios of management and/or global change.

Assessment of Environmental Impact

Implementation and development of the European Water Framework Directive for coastal and transitional waters, including heavily modified and artificial bodies of water

Thanks to the knowledge acquired through the research carried out, we can develop a methodology to establish the reference conditions and boundaries in areas of continental influence for chlorophyll, nutrients and phytoplankton and plankton indicators. In addition, we perform the analysis and optimization of sampling networks for nutrients and phytoplankton, the analysis and development of indicators for contamination by heavy metals, as well as the determination and analysis of pressures. Likewise, we establish the relationship between pressure (total phosphorus) and indicator (phytoplankton-chlorophyll) and "good ecological potential".

Environmental audits and diagnostics

The environmental audit is a tool that allows a company or institution to have an objective and professional description on the state of its management and activities from an environmental point of view. It is a comprehensive diagnosis of all processes related to environmental management in order to detect deviations. The need for an audit may arise as a need to know the current state of an entity, find strengths and weaknesses, or be framed within more general lines such as the implementation of ISO 14000 standards, the development of Agenda 21, etc. This tool is widely used by companies and public bodies. From the Environmental Impact Assessment Area we offer our services to carry out environmental audits and diagnostics.

Environmental impact studies

The staff of the Environmental Impact Assessment Area offers the service of analysis of projects, determination of actions likely to cause environmental impact, analysis and determination of the impacts produced by the actions in the environment, and proposal of protective and corrective measures, according to the current environmental legislation.

Environmental impact studies of coastal discharges, marine works and marine farms

Analysis of uses in the coastal zone. Planning and management of the coast. Territorial ordination. Changes and evolution of uses. Environmental impacts and transformation of a coastal zone. Discharges of organic matter, nutrients. Effects on plankton, benthos and other communities.

Hydraulics and Hydrology

River overflows and extreme events. Flood studies

We are experts in the development of flood risk maps and flood frequency estimation. In addition, for many years we have been carrying out cutting-edge research on topics such as space-time stochastic structure of extreme storms, real-time flow prediction systems and corrective measures such as flood defense measures.

Hydraulic designs of unique structures

We design and analyze bridges over channels, energy dissipation bowls, aerated flows, stepped rapids, and all kinds of singular structures in channels (embouchures, derivations, confluences, transitions and curves).

Land and Urban Environment Integrated Hydraulic Design

We design works of restoration, defense, rectification and fixation of channels. Channeling in torrential channels, alluvial fans and mouths. Water intake works, urban channel restoration and main supply lines. We also design networks of irrigation channels, unique elements in sewer networks and structures for sediment control and exclusion. Studies of flood plain regulations.

Hydrology and Hydraulic Planning

Geographic Information Systems application to hydrological modeling in river watersheds. Techniques of mathematical modeling of water resources systems, rainfall modeling and hydrological forecasting tools, as well as extensive knowledge in hydraulic planning and wetland hydrology.

Physical modeling of open channel flows and structures embedded in channels

Thanks to our complete laboratory, we have the necessary resources and experience in the realization of reduced scale physical modeling of open channel flows (fixed riverbeds and moving riverbeds), and structures embedded in channels (dams, absorption bowls, load securing structures, bridges, etc.).

Hydrological modeling and large dams

Knowledge and means to apply models of hydrological simulation and prediction for the management of large dams, are available to improve operating criteria for this type of dams. Hydrological risks and seasonal safeguards are also evaluated. In addition, we can carry out an evaluation of the effectiveness of exploitation standards.

Hydraulic-sedimentological mathematical modeling of flows in channels

We have the techniques to perform hydraulic-sedimentological mathematical modeling of flows in channels through one-dimensional models (HEC-RAS, RIVERCAD, ISIS, MIKE 11, WSPRO, HEC-6, SEDIMOD, FLUVIAL-11), two-dimensional models (SMS, SOBEK, SED2D , BRI-STARS, CCHE2D, GUAD2D) and three-dimensional models (SSIIM, FLOW3D).


Analysis and optimization of parts and processes

Analysis of machine parts of complex geometry using numerical methods. After the analysis of stresses, the geometry is changed automatically with the aim of having a uniform distribution of these stresses while minimizing the weight of the part, and increasing the security factor. This procedure is necessarily iterative, since a small change in the part geometry may imply large changes in the stress distribution.

Hydrogeological studies for civil engineering and mining

Characterization of aquifers. Management of groundwater. Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater. Planning and integral management of water resources. Models of underground flow and transportation of pollutants. Design of observation and control networks.


Stochastic modeling of underground flow and mass transport. Analysis of uncertainty in aquifers. Use of geophysical measurements for the characterization of hydrogeological properties of the terrain. Low permeability media. Geostatistics applied to hydrology. Incorporation of meteorological radar in the prediction of rainfall. Inverse modeling.

Hydrogeology applied to environmental problems

Pollution of groundwater. Recovery and cleaning of aquifers. Vulnerability and protection of aquifers. Uncertainty, risk assessment. Protection perimeters. Interaction between surface waters and groundwater, wetlands, saline intrusion. Storage of toxic and hazardous waste. Storage of radioactive waste. Contamination of soils and unsaturated zone.

Water Resource Engineering

Application of remote sensing and GIS to water resources engineering

We have developed decision support models and systems, integrated in GIS and remote sensing and GIS techniques applied to the estimation of evapotranspiration and consumption quantification for irrigation.

Development of techniques and methodologies for the management of drought situations

We have the capacity to develop techniques, tools and methodologies for the detection, monitoring, prediction and analysis of the evolution of drought situations, including the development and use of simulation models to evaluate the effectiveness of management measures that can be applied to mitigating the effects of drought.

Generation of future hydrological scenarios with ARMA models and neural networks

We offer a technique to generate future hydrological scenarios for the evaluation of the behavior of the water resource systems, either in the planning phase or in the management phase. Classic "ARMA" stochastic models are used. The technique comprises analyzing historical data, choosing the type of model and generating the desired number of future scenarios. We also offer you the possibility of generating these scenarios with Neural Networks.

Hydraulic works and exploitations

We offer instrumentation services, auscultation and development of data analysis systems, safety assessment of dams, reservoirs, irrigation and drainage and analysis of the feasibility of hydroelectric development. We also have techniques for modeling the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of dams (FLAC, SAP, HEC, MIKE, etc.).

Planning and management of water resources

We can provide you with techniques for the analysis and management of water resources, including the possibility of developing and programming models for the evaluation of surface and underground water resources, as well as optimization and simulation.
Likewise, we have developed techniques for joint use of surface and groundwater, risk assessment in the actual management against drought and for the economic analysis of water resources.
All of them have been widely used and tested and are based on the development of Decision Support Systems (DSS) for the management of water resources (AQUATOOL System and SIMGES modules, OPTIGES, SIMRISK, OPTIRISK, MASHWIN, GENWIN, AQUIVAL). We also offer you the possibility of carrying out an overall analysis of the system through the integration of quantitative, qualitative, economic and environmental aspects.

Numerical simulation of the behavior of earth dams

We have developed a technique for modeling the evolution of tensions and deformations during the construction and exploitation of earth dams. It allows an agile contrast with instrumentation measurements and the subsequent calibration of parameters for different constituent models of the materials involved: elastic, elastoplastic, viscoelastic and attached deposits (humidification sediments).

Hydrological and Environmental Modelling

Application of geographic information systems for modeling the hydrological cycle in a river basin

We offer you extensive experience in the application of Geographic Information Systems for hydrological modeling in river basins.

Mathematical Modelling of Flow and Transport

Risk analysis

We apply mathematical and statistical modeling for the analysis of the risk associated with subsurface pollution problems and waste storage (landfills and deep geological repositories). We have extensive experience in evaluating the behaviour of the deep geological storage of nuclear waste and the problems associated with the production and movement of leachate generated in landfills. The applications covered have included assessing the movement of pollutants in the subsoil, to geochemical models of migration of pollutants into the biosphere, as well as the modeling of climate change or the stochastic generation of geological events such as volcanism. The techniques studied, developed and / or applied in these areas have a wide range of possibilities for use in many environmental problems, many of which have not yet been addressed in the study of stochastic processes. However, the problems of environmental risk assessment, due to their complexity and limited knowledge of the processes and variables they include, generally require this type of approach.

Geostatistics applied to water resources and the environment

We apply estimation and stochastic simulation techniques for the evaluation of water resources and the presence of contaminants. In addition, we carry out the uncertainty assessment associated with predictions of techniques and mathematical models in relation to problems of flow and transport of pollutants in the subsurface, as well as with other environmental variables. These techniques may be of particular interest to agencies responsible for water resource planning and management, environmental agencies, and agencies with responsibility for the regulation and management of nuclear waste.

Modeling of aquifers and water resource systems

We have developed techniques for the implementation, calibration and practical application of mathematical models of flow and mass transport in aquifers for studies of water resources planning and managing, as well as for the analysis of environmental problems.

Physical modeling of porous media in laboratory

We have experience in the design and construction of physical models of porous media in the laboratory, as well as in the monitoring equipment for the acquisition of data of piezometry and concentrations of chemical species.

Mathematical modeling of flow and transport of pollutants

We offer our capacity for the development, calibration and application of mass transport methods models for the study of soil and groundwater pollution problems, as well as designing possible recovery strategies.

Mathematical modeling of the movement of pollutants in the environment

We offer our experience with mathematical models applicable to both subsurface contamination problems and the movement of pollutants in the biosphere.

Water Chemistry and Microbiology

Application of the MICROTOX system to the toxicity characterization of wastewater samples, leachate and sediments

Through the use of the bacterium Vibrio fischeri we determined the inhibition of the luminescence by the presence of toxins in the sample. Due to this, it is possible to detect if a discharge or effluent is toxic, for example, in the treatment of leachate in Wastewater Treatment Plants.

Detection of pathogenic protozoa by immunofluorescence, immunocapture and PCR in effluent from sewage treatment plants

We have real-time PCR and immunofluorescence techniques to detect and quantify the existence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium protozoa in samples from Wastewater Treatment Plants, very convenient in sewage treatment plants whose effluent is used for irrigation.

Effectiveness of biological reactors from fluorochrome markers of bacterial viability

By combining two fluorochromes it is possible to distinguish safely and quantitatively live and dead floc bacteria as well as filamentous in WWTPs, even in a mixed population as it occurs in activated sludge or biofilms, facilitating a rapid titration of the grade and location of toxicity or chlorine induced damage in filamentous bacteria and flocs. This method of detection allows rapid action in the detection of toxicities in WWTP, avoiding that environmental damage may occur.

Identification with conventional and molecular methods of bacteria involved in the elimination of nitrogen and phosphorus

We offer a service of identification of polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs), accumulating organisms of glycogen and of the bacteria involved in the oxidation of nitrogen and phosphorus, using the FISH technique. With this, it is possible to evaluate the correct operation of the biological systems of nutrient elimination, which is supervised using the FISH technique.

Identification of filamentous bacteria with conventional techniques and molecular methods

Bulking and Foaming in activated sludge systems often cause significant operational problems. It is therefore essential to accurately identify the filamentous bacteria involved for the prevention of operational disorders. We have the knowledge to identify filamentous population and quantify each observed filamentous organism (dominant, subdominant, secondary, marginal), through the use of conventional techniques and FISH.

Hydraulic Networks and Pressurised Systems

Analysis of energy exploitations

We advise in the conception and evaluation of the energy potential in low and medium power exploitations that use water or wind as an energy resource (mini hydroelectric power stations, wind farms, etc.).

Elaboration of models of hydraulic networks and assistance in the drafting of master plans for the improvement of water supplies

We model the behavior of a network in service based on consumption data, characteristics of its components and field measurements, including, where appropriate, water quality studies. The final model can be ran in an independent application such as EPANET, or integrated into a Geographic Information System through GISRed 1.0 application. Once the model is available, we propose solutions to improve the possible deficiencies or to anticipate future demands or actions, through the elaboration and analysis of multiple scenarios in the short, medium and long term.

Development of GIS applications oriented to the corporate management of water supply networks

We have extensive experience in the management and programming in the ArcGIS environment and its application to the management of water supply networks, developing specific applications powerful and easy to handle for the end user, compatible with all the features of the starting product, which configures the GISRed 2.0 working environment.
Graphical presentation capabilities are combined with the access and management of powerful databases, oriented to the preparation of maps and inventories and to the obtainment of hydraulic models and their permanently updated maintenance. We develop specific modules for fault management, meter management, demand management, leak management, etc. The connection with a hydraulic model allows analyzing the behavior of the network under any circumstances, and retrieving the results from the GIS environment for its incorporation into the database and use in decision making.

Development of SCADA applications oriented to the optimum control in real time of hydraulic networks

We have extensive experience in handling and processing data from SCADA systems responsible for centralized and real-time control of hydraulic systems, through the SCA-RED environment. We have developed tools for filtering, aggregating and storing the field data, for subsequent statistical treatment or processing using hydraulic models in real time. Among the innumerable advantages of connecting the filtered real data with a model are: the monitoring of non-instrumented field variables (obtained by simulation), with the consequent saving in investment, the monitoring of global variables in real time (demands by zones, average level of pressures, energy consumptions, etc.), the reproduction of past scenarios for the learning and training of operators or for the revision of incidents, the anticipation of maneuvers through the simulation and its projection in time, the planning of the 24-hour operation mode, the short-term energy optimization, the control of the final quality of the water supplied, the decision-making in emergency situations, etc.

Design of systems of pressure fluids transport

We offer a technical assistance service in the conception and design of pressure water transport pipelines (impulses, gravity adductions, transfers, etc.), design of clean and residual water pumping stations, industrial fluid networks, industrial ventilation facilities, selection of components such as pumps, fans, valves, measuring equipment, etc.

Optimization of the exploitation of pressure irrigation networks in irrigation communities

Using the HuraGIS tool that we have developed, we can make an inventory of plots, crops and water systems in a community of irrigators. Based on this information and the connection with climatic stations via the Internet, it is possible to evaluate the water and fertilization needs of the crops, as well as their comparison with current practices, issuing a diagnosis at the plot, hydrant, irrigation sector and community level. In addition, thanks to the diagnosis and hydraulic model of the irrigation network, we offer you solutions to improve the efficiency in the use of water, energy and fertilizers.
These solutions can include aspects such as the redesign of the emitter's layout, system re-alignment, revision of irrigation shifts, optimization of the hours and mode of operation of the relifting pumps, etc. We can also carry out a review of the fertilizer injection periods by optimizing irrigation schedules by HuraGIS and, depending on the degree of automation of the network, transfer it to the control automats.

Translation and incorporation of improvements in hydraulic simulation software

In our group, all versions of EPANET 1.1 (software for simulating the behavior of hydraulic pressure networks) have been translated into Spanish and French, as well as the translation of SWMM 5.0 (software for behavioral simulation of sanitation networks) to Spanish.
We constantly introduce improvements in EPANET to incorporate new features. We are able to incorporate any changes or improvements in the EPANET and SWMM programs at the customer's request, keeping the same working environment widely known and widespread around the world.