Projects in execution


Title: Karst Aquifer Resources availability and quality in the Mediterranean Area (KARMA)

Financing program: Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA). Convocatoria 2018.

Consortium: Karlsruhe Technological Institute (Nico Goldscheider; coordinator), Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (Thomas Himmelsbach), University of Malaga (Bartolomé Andreo), University of Sapienza - Rome (Marco Petitta), American University of Beirut (Joanna Doummar), University of Montpellier (Hervé Jourdé) and National School of Engineers of Tunisia (Rachida Bouhlila).

Brief summary: The KARMA project aims to make progress in hydrogeological knowledge and sustainable management of karst aquifers in the Mediterranean environment in terms of availability and quality of groundwater. These advances will focus on aspects as varied as recharge and hydrodynamic modeling, the updating of the cartography of karst aquifers, inventory of dependent ecosystems, vulnerability, and early warning systems against pollution in karst spring supplies.

Official web (KARMA):

Group photo during the KARMA project inaugural meeting in Karslruhe (Germany). Danube Valley (October 2019).
Sierra de Ubrique. Spanish study area of the KARMA project.


Title: Environmental and Biodiversity Climate Change Lab (EnBiC2-Lab)

Financing program: Operational Program POPE 2014-2020 (ERDF) - Line of action LIFEWATCH ERIC

Consortium: University of Malaga (various research groups, 33 researchers)

Main researchers on the water part: Bartolomé Andreo y Juan Antonio Barberá (CEHIUMA-UMA)

Brief summary: Within the framework of the EnBiC2-Lab project, a climate change and biodiversity laboratory will be created by integrating databases and environmental services focused on the thematic areas of water, soil, air, fauna and flora. In this way, it is intended to develop a Virtual Research Environment on climate change that will offer innovative tools based on new technologies such as supercomputing and Big Data, which will integrate previous databases and services to offer a multi-perspective view of the impact of climate change. The selected study areas correspond to three natural parks in Andalusia (Los Alcornocales, in Cádiz and Málaga; Sierra de las Nieves, in Málaga; and Cabo de Gata - Níjar, in Almería), which cover all climatic regions from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean, in order to validate the new analysis tools developed in the project.

Rodalquilar population and volcanic reliefs in the P.N. Cabo de Gata-Níjar.
Cima del Picacho (Alcalá de los Gazules) in the central sector of the P.N. of the Alcornocales.


Title: Combinación de métodos experimentales y modelos numéricos para cuantificar la dinámica de la recarga en acuíferos carbonatados (kársticos) [REKARST]

Financing programme: National R&D Plan

Main researchers: Bartolomé Andreo y Matías Mudarra (CEHIUMA-UMA)

Brief summary: The main purpose of this research project is to advance in the knowledge of the processes that govern the movement of water in carbonatic aquifers, with special emphasis on those that occur in the superficial part. This is intended to achieve a better understanding of the natural dynamics of infiltration and underground flow, as a scientific basis for the development of numerical simulation tools that allow an accurate evaluation and reliable predictions on the present and future availability of water resources in systems. karst. The project places special emphasis on the development of experimental methodologies that help to better understand the hydrogeological functioning of the carbonatic aquifers in southern Spain, which will allow the development of more realistic conceptual and numerical models.



Title: Regional hydrogeological characterization of the clayey-evaporite materials of the Subbetic Chaotic Complexes and the hydric functioning of associated wetlands. Implications for the proper management of Natural Heritage in the face of global change scenarios (Reference: P20-01118).

Financing programme: Ministry of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities. Andalusian Government


Responsible researchers: Bartolomé Andreo Navarro and Matías Mudarra Martínez


Title: Safe water reuse in Managed Aquifer Recharge: innovative solution combining physical, digital and governance aspects (LIFE20/ENV/ES/000788)

Funding programme: LIFE 2020 - Environment and climate action

Consortium: Fundación Centro Andaluz de Investigaciones del Agua (Cetaqua AND; coordinador), Cetaqua BCN, CEHIUMA-UMA y Acosol S.A.

Responsible researchers: Bartolomé Andreo y Juan A CETAQUA, CEHIUMA y ACOSOL ntonio Barberá (CEHIUMA-UMA)

Brief summary: The general objective of the project is to demonstrate the technical, environmental and health feasibility of managed recharge of aquifers with reclaimed water, in order to increase the availability of groundwater resources allowing to improve the status of groundwater bodies in the context of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) in areas with water stress. The MATRIX solution (MAR physical device + decision support system + water governance component) constitutes a feasibility test for the recharge of reclaimed water with tertiary treatment from the La Víbora treatment plant (Marbella), in the Mass of Groundwater Marbella-Estepona (060.040). The specific objectives foreseen are: 1) to demonstrate the guarantees of reusing water when managed aquifer recharge systems are implemented; 2) characterize the technical and economic performance of the implemented solution and 3) improve the acceptance and perception of the population regarding the reuse of suitably purified water.

Official website (LIFE-MATRIX): in the design phase

La Víbora WWTP facilities (Marbella). In the wooded area, infiltration ponds will be built for the injection of treated wastewater with tertiary treatment into the plioquaternary detrital aquifer of Marbella-Estepona.
Measurement of the piezometer level in an abandoned borehole for the hydrogeological characterization of the aquifer sector in which the effects of recharging with treated wastewater will be observed.
Drilling works for the geological and geotechnical reconnaissance of the area where the infiltration ponds of the managed recharge device will be excavated.


Title: Investigaciones hidrogeológicas de acuíferos carbonatados sobreexplotados del Norte de la provincia de Málaga para la mejora de la gestión de los recursos hídricos y de los ecosistemas asociados (UMA20-FEDERJA-009).

Financing program: Programa operativo FEDER Andalucía 2014-2020. Convocatoria 2020

Consortium: CEHIUMA-UMA (coordina), IGME-CSIC y CSIC.

Responsible researchers: Bartolomé Andreo y Juan Antonio Barberá (CEHIUMA-UMA)

Breve resumen: This project aims to investigate the hydrogeology of carbonate aquifers subjected to intensive use of groundwater, to try to propose preventive and/or corrective measures for a rational management of water resources. This will be possible by optimizing the use of good quality water for different uses, from an environmental sustainability perspective, based on the preservation of dependent aquatic ecosystems. The results obtained will contribute to improving the socioeconomic development of regions that depend partially or totally on it, as is the case of the northern region of the province of Malaga (counties of Antequera and Northeast). The aim is thus to establish a strategy for future water management that includes actions aimed at decision-making in emergency situations, such as in periods of extreme drought or in cases of the resource becoming unusable due to pollution episodes, or in anticipation of an increase in demand and diminishing resources. These actions would contribute to mitigating the adverse effects of anthropogenic pressures and global change on the availability of groundwater, as well as population growth in future scenarios.

View of the Fuente de Piedra lagoon from the Sierra de los Caballos (NW). In the foreground, the Albina cultivation area and the district of Navahermosa (T.M. Sierra de Yeguas).
Measurement of the piezometric level in one of the underground water supply wells at Fuente de Piedra in the Sierra de Humilladero (left) and an old IRYDA well for irrigation, currently in disuse (dry), in the Sierra de Mollina (right).


Title: Hydrogeochemistry of the Ronda Peridotite: Characterization of groundwater and associated methane.

Reference: UMA18-FEDERJA-101

Responsible researcher: Iñaki Vadillo Pérez (CEHIUMA-UMA)

Brief summary: The serpentinization in Peridotites (hydration of olivine and pyroxenes) is responsible for the production of hyperalkaline waters (pH > 9) and hydrocarbon gases, such as methane (CH4). These products have implications for hydrogeology (hydrogeochemistry of hyperalkaline waters), the carbon cycle (CH4 produced and emitted into the atmosphere), planetary geology (CH4 produced as analogous to that of Mars), microbiology (extremophilic environments) and economic geology (generation and storage of methane as an energy resource and as a precursor to clean fuels (H2)). All these manifestations have a common geological link, which is to study the hydrogeochemical processes that occur in these ultramafic rocks. In this project, hydrogeochemical techniques are applied to study the groundwater drained by this lithology and establish a hydrogeochemical model that explains the appearance of waters with disparate characteristics; as well as establishing associations between hyperalkaline waters and methane manifestations.


Title: Study, detection and behavior of emerging pollutants in anthropized basins of Andalusia

Reference: P20-397

Responsible researcher: Iñaki Vadillo Pérez (CEHIUMA-UMA)

Brief summary: The project is based on the previous experience of researchers on the hydrogeology of pollutants and CECs in the Guadalhorce River Basin (Málaga), the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra basin (Málaga) and the Upper Genil River basin (Granada). The project aims to achieve three objectives: (1) detect and quantify CECs (PhACs, PCPs, drugs, endocrine disruptors, DBPs, nanomaterials, microplastics, PAHs, PCBs, OPFRs and various pesticides); (2) relate human activities with the presence and distribution of these compounds and study, with fundamentals, hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical techniques and methodology, the behavior of CECs in water systems; and (3) establish basic information to monitor the CECs on the priority lists of the European Union, which is an obligatory requirement to estimate the good chemical status of surface and groundwater bodies.