The Region of Murcia is located in southeast Spain, an area known for structural water stress. The most important water source that runs through the Region is the Segura River, which is the main irrigation water resource. Late last century there was a significant environmental problem in the Segura River caused by an increase of inadequately treated wastewater discharges, in a period of low flow rates and intensive use of water resources. The situation reached such a critical point, that the Regional Government presented a General Plan for Wastewater Reclamation, to be developed in 10 years. This paper details the content and guidelines in the Plan, as well as aspects related to policy development and objective achievement: water availability has increased and the Segura River conditions have improved. In short, it can be concluded that wastewater reclamation marks a good starting point for bettering water management in arid areas. Furthermore, the case of the Region of Murcia reveals that comprehensive action lines and optimized engineering and knowledge of wastewater management is highly beneficial.

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