García Burgos, E. • Bardina, M. • Munné, A. • Solà, C.
The Gaià river basin, located in the province of Tarragona, has been regulated since 1975 by the presence of a reservoir for industrial and irrigation use, which for many years dried the final stretch of the river, which therefore did not reach the sea. The hydrological regime is temporary in natural conditions, with a marked Mediterranean and torrential character. An environmental flow regime, established since 2011, has allowed the recovery of the natural dynamics in the lower section of the Gaià, respecting the natural temporality of the basin. Since 2011, there is an agreement of releasing environmental flows that has allowed the river to recover certain ecological processes. This measure, along with other morphological restoration projects on key reaches as the Santes Creus, as well as with other planned actions related to longitudinal and transversal connectivity will allow the river ecosystem to recover the structural and biological diversity. Finally, river stewardship, as conservation tool, allows environmental NGO’s to reinforce educational activities which are basic for public participation and governance and are also important to establish programs (as the EMPESCA’T project or others) to monitor biological diversity and ecological status of the Gaia river. These programs are important for an adaptive management of the river.
Social participation has been very important in order to achieve a consensus on the balance between water uses and the respect of an environmental flow regime, which has been achieved thanks to the regular meetings of a commission with all the social agents involved (environmental associations, industry, irrigators, municipalities and water authority).
Gaià river, River stewardship, Eflows, River restoration, GovernanceDownload PDF