Innovation in water treatment and management

Discover our main lines of research to improve water quality and access


At the Water Technology Centre in Barcelona, Spain, ACCIONA creates necessary solutions to face the challenges of water shortages and sanitation problems around the globe. 

The Centre also supports all phases of the water cycle, with activities ranging from laboratory activity to studying technologies in pilot plants and their subsequent industrial scale-up. To this end, it works on developing cutting-edge technologies for water desalination, purification, reuse and distribution.

The facilities are a technological benchmark in the industry and have the most modern analytical techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to develop new, more efficient and sustainable water treatment processes, which are evaluated in pilot plants designed by the R&D team.

In addition to the R&D activity carried out at the water technological centre, the R&D department have various permanent demonstration units at the Spanish desalination plants and the wastewater treatment plants operated by ACCIONA, where R&D technologies are demonstrated and tested prior to large-scale deployment. All of these demonstration units treat real water, ensuring that the results obtained are fully representative and thus allowing the optimal functioning of the technologies developed to be demonstrated.

    Main lines of research in water treatment:

    Water innovation projects

    Innovation with organisations, platforms and working groups

    In addition, we actively participate in different national and international organisations, platforms and working groups in order to form strategic alliances and contribute to the development of research agendas and priorities.

    Innovation with a collaborative approach

    ACCIONA's Water business takes a collaborative approach to its R&D&I activities, cooperating with public and private institutions, as well as universities and research centres, such as industries and companies providing public and private services, expanding the scope of innovation to different areas of specialisation and from different levels of technological maturity, enabling the company to position itself at the forefront of technology and become a leader in the sector.

    Recent milestones

    WATER-MINING project

    The Value Sensitive Design (VSD) social innovation tool is being applied in the H2020 WATER-MINING project.

    This methodology sets out to combine the interests of the stakeholders in the value chain with the development of a series of technologies for the recovery of resources contained in different types of water flows.

    ACCIONA, together with other members of the joint-venture, is applying VSD principles to Case Study 3 of the project, with the aim of valorising sludge obtained from Nereda® wastewater treatment technology, which involves the use of aerobic granular sludge in a variety of sectors such as agriculture, construction, papermaking and textiles.

    The VSD technology will be used to identify the barriers that can have an effect on the valorisation of the sludge, as well as designing the most suitable business model.

    EFLUCOMP project

    Innovative systems for the treatment of effluents with a complex composition have been developed within the framework of the EFLUCOMP project (ERDF for Catalonia 2014-2020).

    Specifically, ACCIONA has headed the research and development of technologies for the treatment of water flows with a high content of metals, developing an innovative and highly efficient dissolved air flotation (DAF) system for the selective separation of metals that are predominant in the water to be treated.

    This has led to a reduction of over 20% in the costs associated with reagents and, by extension, a considerable reduction in OPEX. The subproducts and water flows generated also show potential for re-use in the associated industrial process.

    Our own technologies


    Water scarcity and sanitation are two major challenges that we contribute to mitigate through technological solutions in water treatment, developed in our water technology center. The Water business has a broad portfolio of more than 60 proprietary technologies, many of them patented and/or registered as trademarks, which are aligned with the company's strategic lines of action within the integral water cycle. Learn more about these technologies.

    Our technological solutions for water treatment


    If you want to know more about our technological solutions for water treatment, please fill in the on-line form and we will send you all the information.


      Real and virtual partners in water management processes

      Immersive technologies facilitate maintenance tasks and safe, efficient training in the management of complex processes in water purification plants. Find out more about our projects in this domain.

      Discover our other innovation centres