Barcelona, Spain

SuDS in Technical Plan for the Use of Alternative Water Resources in Barcelona


Barcelona Cicle de l’Aigua, S.A., Ayuntamiento de Barcelona



Total area

102,15 km²

Key features

Study of stormwater reuse through the implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in updating the Technical Plan for the Use of Alternative Water Resources in Barcelona.

The study area covers the city of Barcelona, with a total area of 102.15 km² and a population of 1,664,182 inhabitants in 2020. This project scope was to evaluate the potential benefits of introducing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in some representative examples for Barcelona streets and squares. Afterwards, the results can be analysed and extrapolated to the entire city of Barcelona. The project main goals were:

1) Preserve the aquifer and maintain groundwater levels.
2) Take advantage of the renovation of the green areas in the city to include solution to manage surface water as a natural resource.

The preliminary calculations were performed using the software MicroDrainage.


The work carried out has consisted of:

  • Review of the regulatory framework for application and experiences with SuDS.
  • Classification of the most representative cross sections (using a Geographic Information System) and selection of the most appropriate SuDS techniques for each space.
  • Design and modelling of the proposals using the specialised software MicroDrainage and considering multiple scenarios.
  • Estimation of the performance of the solution in an average year, considering both peak flows and discharge volumes.
  • Cost-benefit analysis.