Smart Water Management With Integrated DSS


Description of the demonstration area


The proposed zone as a demonstrator for the achievement and validation within the SAID project is the Guadalhorce River Basin, located in the South Spain, specifically in the province of Málaga. The water supply for all uses that arise in the city of Málaga depends on this basin. The Guadalhorce River Basin forms part of the Hydrographic Demarcation of the Mediterranean Basin, where it empties the Guadalhorce River, with a total length of 154 Km and a total area of 3.158 km2, in which there is a gradient of altitude that oscillates between the own sea level up to 1.800 meters above the sea level. The basin comprises four reservoirs: Guadalteba Dam, Guadalhorce Dam, Conde del Guadalhorce Dam, and La Encantada Dam; some of them have hydroelectric exploitation purposes.

The basic water problems to which the Guadalhorce basin infrastructure has to face are summarized in the following points:

  1. Urban water supply deficit.
  2. Water distribution networks for irrigation.
  3. Water quality.
  4. Energy production and consumption.
  5. Flood áreas.

The complexity of this river basin is clearly an ideal candidate to validate the methods and tools for smart management of water proposed in SAID project.

SAID Automatic Hydrological Information System

Water level, water flow, power generation, and water quality data have been collected and delivered to SAID partners in order to support models and DSSs development. The previously existing historical datasets in the area were included at SAID database:

  • Hydrological and meteorological data from Hidrosur network.
  • Meteorological data from HIRLAM (High Resolution Limited Area Model) model.
  • Water quality data from DMA network (Spanish public network that follow the objectives of the Water Framework Directive).
  • Water level in reservoirs, power demand, production/comsumption data from Endesa (company that operates the hydroelectric plants of the Guadalhorce system).
  • Hydrological, water quality and energy data from Emasa (company that manages the supply to urban areas in Malaga).


Moreover a real-time monitoring and communication networks were deployed in order to complete the Guadalhorce system database. Suitable sensors were selected in each location to get the measurements with the quality and frequency required to develop the DSSs tools. That allows the knowledge and control for the whole river basin in terms of water quantity and quality, as well as, energy production. The specific monitoring network deployed consisted on:

    • Reservoir stations (in 2 locations): One water quality station was installed in the Guadalhorce reservoir, where an aquifer discharges water of high salt concentration into the tail of the reservoir. For this reason, and given the considerable depth of the reservoir, with a significant stratification as a consequence, a floating profiler was installed in this reservoir, which performs measurements of temperature, pH, redox potential, conductivity and dissolved oxygen throughout the water column daily.

On the other hand, in the Guadalteba reservoir also salt concentration distribution in depth is presented. Salt contribution to this reservoir is due to the communication with Guadalhorce reservoir at a certain level (in which saline water flow from Guadalhorce to Guadalteba). In the case of Conde del Guadalhorce reservoir, water it is not saline, thus no quality station was installed in this reservoir.

  • Channel stations (in 3 locations): One water quality and water level station was located downstream La Encantada reservoir in order to control outflow from the reservoirs; and other two water quality stations were installed in two channels that distribute water for supply.
  • River stations (in 3 locations): Water level is measured in two flood area locations, and other one located downstream La Encantada dam to control environmental flow after water distribution.

Decision Support System Tools for water quantity, water quality and energy management

First versions of the DSSs were generated and the common monitoring and communications technologies adapted to the area of the demonstrator.Access to the tools