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Aigües de Barcelona EMGCIA (AB) 

Aigües de Barcelona EMGCIA (AB) is a water company responsible for the management and distribution of drinking water in Barcelona and its surroundings, providing water to 3.000.000 inhabitants. It has a network of 4554 km and distributes 212.53 hm3 of water per year.  The company integrates water policies to ensure water quality and controls the status of both surface and groundwater to reach the desired environmental and health quality standards. In addition, the company is in charge of various wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and surveys their functioning according to the current legislation, ensuring their treatment efficiency.  

AB participates or supports research studies to achieve integrated water management practices in order to produce water with high quality standards in a sustainable and environmental friendly way


Role and Commitment of key persons

(including supervisors)

Miquel Paraira Faus, degree in Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona and an MBA from ESADE. Specialist in Water Quality and Laboratory Management. Since 1994 he is working at Aigües de Barcelona in several positions of different responsibilities. Currently Director of Water Quality and Technical Director of the Laboratory of Aigües de Barcelona, he is also Responsible for the Sanitary Safety of the company, the first in the sector to have obtained the ISO 22000 food safety management certification in Spain. Member of the Spanish Association of Water Supply and Sanitation (AEAS), Spanish representative in EUREAU (Drinking Water Committee) and member of the International Water Association (IWA). Author of several publications and presentations at national and international conferences.

MªRosa Boleda, PhD in analytical Chemistry of environmental and pollution and degree in Organic Chemistry. She joined Aigües de Barcelona in 1990 and since 2010 she assumed the management in the Organic Chemistry Department in Water Quality Direction-AB. She has a broad knowledge about processes in wastewater and water works, and the water quality from the water source to consumers, especially in analysis and behaviour of organic contaminants. Author of more than 30 publications and presentations at national and international conferences. She has participated in several national and international projects


Key Research Facilities, Infrastructure and Equipment

As a water company, we control:  7 WWTPs and 3 DWTPs. In all of them we are doing tests and investigations to improve the treatment. In the main DWTP, water from Llobregat river is used, applying two types of treatments: conventional treatment (with ozonation and GAC filtration) and advanced treatment (with ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes) 

AB also has one of the largest and more experienced laboratories in Spain, with modern facilities and advanced instrumentation (GC-MS/MS; LC-MS/MS; Fluorescence...) to analyse any type of water: wastewater, surface water, groundwater, sea water and drinking water. 

We also have a new and unique platform for the validation of on-line sensors, where instruments can be tested under real operative conditions


Previous and current involvement in Research and Training Programmes

AB has been involved (and is involved) in several international, national, and internal research and innovation projects, focused on validation of new technologies to evaluate the presence of different contaminants in water, development a framework for water governance models across different case studies. For example, the AQUAVALENS project (FP7) “Protecting the health of Europeans by improving methods for the detection of pathogens in drinking water and water used in food preparation”, or the NaToxAq project (ITN) “Natural Toxins and Drinking Water Quality - From Source to Tap” and STOP project (H2020) “Strategic, Tactical, Operational Protection of water Infrastructure against cyber-physical Threats


Relevant Publications and/or Research / Innovation Product

Multiresidue analysis of 24 Water Framework Directive priority substances by on-line solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry in environmental waters Journal of Chromatography A, 1493: 64-75

Odor Events in Surface and Treated Water: The Case of 1,3-Dioxane Related Compounds Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (1), pp 62–69.

Behavior of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) using combined conventional and ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis (UF/RO) treatments. Environmental Pollution, 2011,159: 1584-1591

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