The results obtained in the project will allow us to demonstrate the viability of re-injecting the sediments generated at the Tarragona Water Consortium (Consorci d’Aigües de Tarragona, CAT) water treatment plant (action B1), as well as laying down the bases for a (bypass) system for transferring sediments from the reservoirs to the Delta (action B2). The results will offer us a good assessment of the river and irrigation canals’ capacities for transporting sediments, as well as the effects on rice fields and wetlands. If action B1 is viable, a significant saving will be produced in economic resources and in the energy and material consumption at the CAT plant. Returning the sediments from the plant to the irrigation network would also mean a simplification of the process at the plant as actions relating to the collection, drying out, transportation and storage of sediments could be removed from the overall process.
The results obtained from the management actions in the rice fields and wetlands regarding land elevation, and optimizing GHG emissions, carbon and nutrient sequestration (actions B3–B5), will allow future directives to be developed for a programme of adaptation measures. Among these directives will be the design of a scheme for voluntary reductions in GHG.
To be specific, we expect:
• To determine the capacity of the irrigation network for transporting and distributing sediments (action B1).
• To determine the theoretical and real capacities of the river for transporting different sediments (clay, silt, sand) under different flow conditions (action B2).
• To optimize the functioning of the constructed/artificial wetlands (green filters) in order to maximize the rate of carbon sequestration, soil elevation and of the reduction of nutrients and pollutants in the drainage canals (action B3).
• To evaluate accurately the carbon stock and accretion rates in the fields where the GHG emission experiments are carried out (action B4).
• To evaluate the impact on birdlife of changing water management practices during the post-harvest period and its relationship to GHG emissions (action B5).
• To evaluate accurately the subsidence affecting the Delta and determine which areas are most vulnerable to a relative rise in sea level (action B6).
• To draw up a Climate Action Plan for the Ebro Delta (action B7) with specific and effective measures of adaptation and mitigation for climate change, establishing the directives and actions to be carried out following the finalization of the project. Likewise, there will be a proposal for agricultural practices and measures specifically orientated to climate change adaptation and mitigation.