Delta Regression Prevention Methods: The Diques

IES Blanca d'Anjou
Performed by
  • Maria Boyer Lores
Supervised by
  • Maria José Domínguez
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Study the effectiveness of the dams as a solution for the return of the Ebro Delta.

Project description

In recent years we have been able to realize many of the facts that scientists have been warning us so long "floods, changes in fauna and flora, destruction of ecosystems"... All seemingly far away but already leaving their disastrous consequences around the world and our country is no exception. Behind climatic phenomena such as those experienced throughout the territory in early 2020, the Ebro Delta has been subjected to a regression outside our expectations, loss of crops, maritime areas, even protected areas and vital importance for the maintenance of the many ecosystems present in this much appreciated area. Unique species, paradisiacal spaces, nature reserves... are just one of the many contributions the Ebro Delta gives us. Located in an area of confluence of salt and sweet waters, the delta is the perfect space for the proper development and growth of fine species, both plant and animal, as well as agricultural and cultural traditions rooted in the ancient Al-Andalus, which are seriously threatened by the regression of the land. More than 3,000 hectares of land have been lost in early 2020, pushing back the coast line almost three meters, altering habitats, natural spaces... The sea is swallowing the Ebro Delta, and the dams are presented as a measure, already applied to many other points of the world, of effective and resistant containment. In this research work the main objective is to study their conditions and the different aspects to consider when building them.

Venice, Holland, Amsterdam... are one of the many areas where dams have already been built to deal with impending climate catastrophes and avoid their consequences, all with great effectiveness. The dams, being an infrastructure with a wide variety of shapes, purposes and having been developed by engineers for decades, allows us to choose the most suitable type for each area, depending on its situation, location, environmental history..., at the time that allows us to study the impact it has had in so many previous situations and have a great compilation of information about the benefits of each type. Research studies and compares the two most common and developed types, floating dams and submerged dams. Starting from the initial phases, you start by analyzing the construction of each type. In this construction process influences the delay, dimensions and building material, factors that are taken into account since it is vital that they are not aggressive or go up negatively influence the marine habitat and fauna and flora of the area. It has to be sustainable in the hour that of long duration and resistance, thus providing a stability of great durability to the space you are protecting. Another aspect to consider are the dimensions of the dam, which have a lot of dependence on the type and purpose. A small or large barrier, braids or containment? The solution is not a single one but, depending on the protection needs of each of the zones, one type or another of dam can be applied, thus customizing each construction to the maximum. A clear example is the protected areas or natural areas of great importance for the maintenance of the fauna and flora, in these areas both vital measures can be implemented, whether in number, size or hardness. Spaces such as Buda Island, one of the most important natural areas of the Ebro Delta and equally highly punished, or coastal areas with a lot of commercial influence, such as the meds, would be the most protected areas, given their vulnerability and natural, cultural and economic importance. Equally important is the impact that the dams have on the landscape, of the Ebro Delta, being an area of great tourist and scientific interest, its wonderful and captivating views are always highlighted, which have to be equally protected. For this same reason the research work proposes the combination of different dams, submerged for areas highly inhabited or more tourist influence, and floating, that is, more visible, for areas more restricted to human circulation at the time they are protected, such as Punta del Cuerno.

In less than half a century, most territory in the Ebro Delta is expected to be swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea and, in addition to the obvious environmental consequences this may have, such as serious alterations in migratory bird routes, species extinction, environmental imbalance, etc., large populations would be severely affected. Municipalities as influential and populated as Deltebre would disappear, forcing the displacement of the population as well as the loss of agricultural space. Rice cultivation has been essential in the Economy for many decades, and the Delta has established the most revered exporters of rice at national and European level, placing it as one of the most revered Spanish rice. Crops, populations, nature culture... The Ebro Delta is a vital space for its population, as well as for the entire Catalan and Spanish territory, avarcamultiplicity of different natural areas of extreme importance for the survival of animal and plant species, such as flamenco and many other birds that use the delta as a place of rest and breeding, among their migrations. The delta is a jewel of the natural that must be protected at all costs, it depends on the tradition, roots and maintenance of so many ecosystems both unique and indigenous. The dams are presented today as one of the only mechanisms capable of assisting the delta in its maintenance. In the face of the threat, reaction is needed.