Requena-Utiel aquifer


Aquifer info

Utiel-Requena, Comunitat Valenciana (Spain)
987.9 Km2
Water use
Vineyard irrigation


Aquifer of 988 Km² (mostly average permeability), mined for irrigating vineyards. The aquifer has a highly permeable top layer and is located in a plain area. The Magro River is the main watercourse of the area, and it receives water from the aquifer.

The groundwater system is in bad quantitative status according to the last reports from the Jucar River Basin Authority.

The piezometers located in the area show a decline of water tables in the areas where water withdrawal is the highest. Water abstractions have an important socioeconomic impact in the area. Due to its bad quantitative status, a management plan was developed in 2016 in order to achieve a good quantitative status and a sustainable exploitation of groundwater resources. The planning cycle was designed for the 2016-2021 and included measures such as reduction of pumping and the use of alternative sources. The plan aims at achieving its environmental objectives during the following planning cycle (2022-2027).

Location and extension

The aquifer is located in the central area of the Jucar River Basin District in south-eastern Spain in the region of Valencia. The extension of this area is 988 km²


  • Production of proper hybrid (local/scientific) user-oriented knowledge.
  • Improvement of citizens’ active involvement in decision-making.
  • Fostering groundwater user’s long-term implication.


  • New modelling routines for determining the basic components of the water cycle, including economic, social and technical aspects.
  • Improvement of management strategies for the sustainable exploitation of the aquifer.
  • Capacity building of water users and managers through the alignment of water management and agro-food systems.
  • Improvement of the environmental state of groundwater-dependent ecosystems.

Legal framework

  • Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.
  • Specific legislation for Groundwater is the Directive 2006/118/EC developed in response to the requirements of Article 17 of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).
  • Ley de Aguas 1/2001 that regulates the hydraulic public domain, water uses and both surface and groundwater resources.
  • Plan Hidrológico de la Cuenca del Júcar 2015-2021 that establishes the basin water uses, available resources, water infrastructures and designs the plan for the water management in the different systems of the Jucar domain.
  • Requena-Utiel 2016-2021 exploitation plan, required to address the bad quantitative state of the Requena-Utiel aquifer.


  1. Establish a direct communication with Jucar River Basin District and Central Broad of Users Requena-Utiel.
  2. Develop workshops with farmers associations and individual farmers.
  3. Collect piezometric data and information of the pumping rates from the already established network of wells
  4. Develop a MODFLOW model to assess the quantitative status of the aquifer under different scenarios.
  5. Develop a System Dynamics model to analyse the interlinkages between the groundwater system and its users, and to explore management alternatives.
  6. Develop an agronomic model to explore efficient water uses in the region.
  7. Integrate remote sensing and citizen science in the modelling framework to improve the reliability and usability of the results.
  8. Design a modelling framework that aggregates, analyzes, validates and transforms the new data into relevant inputs for groundwater models, decision support systems (DSS) and for supporting users’ decision.

More information

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