Water reclamation and reuse have become essential components of water resources management in Vitoria-Gasteiz, by helping to overcome historical water deficits experienced by the city with respect to water allocations set in 1973 with the Metropolitan Area of Bilbao, for the conjunctive use of the Urrunaga-Ullibarri reservoirs system. By generating a reliable flow of 35,000° m3/day of high quality reclaimed water, the options available for integrated water resources management have widely expanded as to allow in-stream river flow substitution, agricultural irrigation, seasonal storage of reclaimed water, and more favorable flood control policies for the Urrunaga-Ullibarri reservoirs system. Those management options have been made possible thanks to the implementation of an extensive and elaborated water distribution and storage system (reuse component) that allows distribution of reclaimed water to 10,000 ha of farmland, seasonal storage in a 7 hm3 reservoir, partial substitution of in-stream river water, and the potential consideration of water augmentation in reservoirs. The continuous support and promotion by agricultural users, the excellent operation and maintenance records of the project, and its favorable economic features have been instrumental in assuring a wide acceptance of this innovative water management option, under the Vitoria-Gasteiz social, economic, geographical and water resources conditions.

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