WIT Press

Management synergies: Water resources and flooding


Free (open access)


Volume 3 (2020), Issue 4



Page Range

314 - 324

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Maria-Carmen Vicente-Torres, José-Sergio Palencia-Jiménez & Eric Gielen


The fifth report of the European Commission, COM (2019) 95final, on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (Second River basin Management Plans 2000/60/EU and First Flood Risk Management Plans 2007/60/EU), in order to coordinate the authorities involved and exploit synergies, recommends that Spain considers flooding within the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. The operation of dams on the territory of the Community is proposed by Spain in the EU Guidance document No. 24 “River basin Management in a Changing Climate” (TR-2009-040) as a measure of resilience to water scarcity, accentuated by climate change.

Optimal management of water resources in catchments and their surroundings ensures the different uses of water: ecological (protected areas and population supply), agricultural, industrial and recreational, as well as flood safety of people and property. Land use planning that includes areas of temporary flooding during high precipitations, run-off or overflow can contribute significantly to improve the operation of reservoirs.

In this article, we analyse the flood areas of different types of watersheds, based on real cases, defined by a variety of geo-morphologies downstream of the dam (channels, gullies and flat-bottomed troughs, flood plains) and by current anthropogenic uses occupying the territory. The results are analysed with reference to their potential for synergy with the operation of the upstream water reservoir. Key trends shown are proposed to be translated into coefficients of reduction in environmental and socioeconomic damages within the model of spillways simulation.


catchment, controlled flood zones, dams operation, land uses, risks.