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Water management

Contador Inteligente

The Municipal Water Company of Malaga (EMASA) has an innovative nature and is a benchmark in the various aspects related to the management of the Integral Water Cycle. Here are some of the most outstanding innovations:

Improvement of hydraulic performance: counters and sectorization

Since before the start-up of the El Atabal Desalination Plant, EMASA started a series of projects aimed at improving the performance of the distribution network, due to the increase in production costs involved in the following processes:

  • Sectorization of the network
  • Pressure management
  • Leak detection
  • Remote reading (improvement of metrology and the possibility of daily hydraulic balances).

These projects have improved the performance indicators and, on the other hand, have generated an intensification in the preventive tasks and the minimization of the corrective actions, which has led to a reduction in operating costs and an improvement in the quality of the service.

Currently, EMASA manages 220,000 meters, of which 140,000 are electronic. Of these, 50,000 allow daily readings thanks to a proprietary technology. Knowing users' consumption in real time facilitates making relevant decisions for the management and efficiency in the use of water and creates a solid base for the constitution of a Core Network of sensors (Smart City) for municipal purposes.

In addition, EMASA has developed remote control systems that establish a private network using the mobile infrastructure by means of embedded PCs and allow the control of pressures and the monitoring of control flow meters in the accesses of the hydraulic sectors. In this way, through the use of night minimum flows, it is possible to identify leaks in the network and characterize the state of the infrastructure through the use of the corresponding indicators.

Improvement of water quality and guarantee of supply: production of drinking water (desalination plant)


The El Atabal desalination plant is one of the largest and most advanced reverse osmosis installations of brackish water in the world. With an investment of close to 65 million euros, it was put into service by the Spanish Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, through its state company Acusur / Acuamed in 2005.

The plant produces 165,000 cubic meters per day of treated water of excellent quality. For this, it has a set of 8,400 membranes distributed in 8 racks, which allow treating water of up to 6 grams per liter of salt concentration. The facilities of the Potable Water Treatment Station (ETAP), located next to the desalination plant, are used to carry out the pre-treatment prior to the reverse osmosis process.

The plant incorporates the greatest technical advances in terms of desalination and efficient use of resources. In this way, it can be used in several phases, depending on the needs and supply sources available at any time for the city.