Taula del Ter

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Taula del Ter
Thematic sectors: 
Water resources
Political sectors EU: 
Water resource management
Geographic characterisation - Biogeographic region: 
Project duration: 
1/1/2018 - 1/31/2028
Adaptation initiative typology: 
Green or based on ecosystem services
Type of climate impact: 
Water scarcity
Extreme temperatures

Description of the case study

The constitution of the Ter “Round Table” (Taula) between the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Área Metropolitana de Barcelona, and local entities, water users, and Bajo Ter territorial entities agreed to a series of actions for the 2018-2028 period with the aim of reducing water extraction from the Ter river that has been diverted since 1966 to satisfy water supply needs for the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (RMB). These actions are included in 3 temporary phases and must culminate in an annual transfer of no more than 90 hm3/year by 2028. Compliance with the Ter Round Table agreements has allowed Ter’s 2020 deviation towards the RMB (129 hm3) to have been the lowest on record. In turn, the Ter river complies with ecological flows (according to Water Directive 2000/60/EC and established by the Catalan Water Agency) below the reservoirs, and strongly contributes to the improvement of the river’s aquatic ecosystems.

Challenges : 

Taking into account that the historical average has been around 180 hm3 annually, the target involves a 50% reduction to these contributions. This target is possible thanks to the RMB’s efficient demand management policy, an improvement to distribution networks and the contribution of reclaimed water being reused, and the RMB area desalination plants being brought online. These actions are included in the 2022-2027 Catalonia River Basin District Management Plan.

Objectives : 

» Reducing the Ter river’s water contribution to the Barcelona Metropolitan Region by 50%.
» Implementing ecological flows in the basin.
» Improving the basin’s aquatic ecosystems, the ecological state of surface bodies of water, and the chemical state of subterranean bodies of water.


Solutions : 

Over the course of 2020, the volume of water from the Ter river deviated towards Barcelona was 129 hm3/year, when the initial forecast was 136 hm3. This is the lowest figure on record, as the previous low was 135 hm3 in 2018. In 2019, the deviated volume was 140 hm3/year; therefore, in terms of the previous year, 2020 closed with an 11 hm3 reduction in demand.

Press Release: “Compliance with the Ter Round Table agreements has allowed Ter’s 2020 deviation towards the RMB (129 hm3) to have been the lowest on record".

Importance and relevance of the adaptation : 

Case mainly implemented via objectives from other non-adaptation policies, though with significant consideration for climate change adaptation aspects. 

Key words : 
urban supply
maintenance flows
Region and / or city: 
Countries involved: 
Geographical governance level : 
Organisations involved : 

The Generalitat de Catalunya, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, and local entities, water users, and Bajo Ter territorial entities.

Additional Information

Stakeholder participation : 

Both the administrations (Generalitat, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Ter basin city councils) and water users and civil entities meet periodically to inform on the progress made on actions and volumes of water transferred.

Success and limiting factors : 

The success factor depends exclusively on the Generalitat’s compliance with the agreement, and that, in turn, depends on the availability of necessary financing to execute actions that allow for the objectives set in the Taula del Ter agreement to be achieved. The availability of this financing is currently assured.

Cost-benefit analysis : 

It is not available, but an approximation of benefits should be made.

Legal aspects : 

» 2022-2027 Catalonia River Basin District Programme of Measures and Management Plan
» Law 16/2017, dated 1 August, on climate change in Catalonia 

Implementation period : 

1/1/2018 - 1/31/2028 (10 years - in progress)

Reference information

Contact : 
Catalonia Water Agency
Contact Email: 






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