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Collaboration agreement for the use and management of the platform Urban River Lab gets signed

From left to right, Albert Sorolla, Lluís Calvo, Sergi Mingote, José Antonio Montero and Francesc Sabater.

From left to right, Albert Sorolla, Lluís Calvo, Sergi Mingote, José Antonio Montero and Francesc Sabater.

The Urban River Lab (URL) is a pioneering lab in the field of river ecosystem research in Spain.

The Urban River Lab (URL) is a pioneering lab in the field of river ecosystem research in Spain.

The signing ceremony gathered around forty experts in the wastewater treatment plant (EDAR) of Montornès del Vallès.

The signing ceremony gathered around forty experts in the wastewater treatment plant (EDAR) of Montornès del Vallès.

This platform will contribute to the development of alternative strategies and innovative techniques that will improve the management of modified rivers.

This platform will contribute to the development of alternative strategies and innovative techniques that will improve the management of modified rivers.

13/02/2017

Recerca

On Friday, February 10, the collaboration agreement for the use and management of the laboratory Urban River Lab (URL) was signed. This is an outdoor experimental platform located in the wastewater treatment plant (EDAR) of Montornès del Vallès, the only one in Spain within the field of research on river ecosystems and pioneer in Southern Europe due its dimensions. The agreement, signed at the headquarters of EDAR in Montornès del Vallès will be a tool to improve the efficacy and efficiency in the use and maintenance of the URL.

 

The new agreement was signed by the Mayor of Montornès del Vallès, José Antonio Montero; Francesc Sabater, Professor of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the University of Barcelona; Lluís Calvo, institutional Coordinator of CSIC in Catalonia; Albert Sorolla, from the company Naturalea Conservació SL, and the President of Besòs Tordera Consortium, Sergi Mingote.


The signing ceremony gathered around forty experts. Among them were Professor Santiago Mañosa, Head of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences and member of the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio), Professor Santi Sabaté (secretary of the mentioned department) and Narcís Prat, Professor of the mentioned Department and Head of the Research Group Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) of the University of Barcelona.


During the event, the Mayor of Montornès del Vallès, José Antonio Montero, highlighted that “it is a great satisfaction for the town hall to go for such an important and pioneer project, and it is a privilege to have it so close and share it with people in general, but especially with children and youngsters”.
Regarding the attendants from the UB, Doctor Francesc Sabater said that “the URL has to serve, not only to research on how to improve river ecosystems, but also to work on how these ecosystems can transmit viruses or bacteria that affect human health”.


In his speech, Lluís Calvo, representing CSIC, highlighted that “the need to invest in research, one of the future and progress keys that allows us to build a more sustainable and intelligent society”.
With more than twenty years of experience in river restoration, the expert Albert Sorolla, from Naturalea Conservació SL, highlighted that “this laboratory is an excellent tool because it is seen as the half-way point between the closed laboratory and the river, where we can discover how aquatic ecosystems work and their self-purification abilities too”.


The President of Besòs Tordera Consortium, Sergi Mingote, finished the interventions reminding the attendants that “the work from all the different administrations and organisms makes such beautiful things like this happen, which will not only remain here but will have a direct and positive effect in the daily life of people and their leisure areas, and river areas are more and more common in those fields”.


Improving the management of highly modified rivers


Urban River Lab was set up in December 2014. Since then, researchers and scientists from around the world have taken part in different research activities to develop alternative strategies and innovating techniques to improve the environmental management of highly modified rivers.


In particular, some research projects have proved that specific riverbank plant species, such as the reed or the yellow lily, can improve the quality of effluent waters of the treatment plants that get to our rivers. In this process, the role of rhizosphere, the microsystem in contact with the roots, is essential. From March onwards, it is expected to promote new research lines towards focusing on this self-purifying capacity.


 

 

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