The Dam Removal Europe Award 2022 goes to… Spain!
With the removal of the weirs of the Molino Bajo and Molino del Cabrillas, in the Cabrillas River, Spain took the prize home in a ceremony held last Thursday, May 18, at the UK Dam Removal Conference, in Manchester.
After a pre-selection of the top five projects by an independent jury of international experts, a round of public votes took place until April 17. The jury’s and the public’s opinions were considered on a 50-50 ratio and the final count of votes elected Spain as the winner.
AEMS-RÍOS CON VIDA Team
““Thanks to the impetus that so many organizations from America to Europe are giving to the restoration of rivers, and now especially the Open Rivers Program as a financier of these actions in the Cabrillas River, AEMS-Ríos con Vida has been the first NGO to remove obsolete barriers in rivers in Spain”.”César RodríguezAEMS-Ríos con Vida
Get to know the winning project: Removal of the weirs of the Molino Bajo and Molino del Cabrillas in the Cabrillas River
The Cabrillas River is one of the main tributaries of the Alto Tajo, with rich fauna and flora and crystalline waters that are home to the native brown trout. The river is also a source of vital resources, such as water, fishing, landscapes and nature, to the local population.
Before the implementation of the project, the Cabrillas River had three known barriers, two of them being disused weirs, about 3 m high. These barriers created reservoirs filled with retained gravel, completely impassable for fish.
Funded by the first call for aid from the Open Rivers Program, this project restored connectivity in about 25 km of the river and in 50 km within the fluvial basin.
Molino Bajo weir removal before and after © AEMS-RÍOS CON VIDA
Molino del Cabrillas weir removal before and after © AEMS-RÍOS CON VIDA
The award is hosted by Dam Removal Europe, the World Fish Migration Foundation, the European Investment Bank, The Nature Conservancy, and supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery and Forest Peace Foundation.