Robledo de Chavela dam, located west of Madrid Province, was built in Cofio River to supply water for Robledo de Chavela Municipality. It began working in 1968, but in 1990 it stopped supplying water because the water started having quality problems due to livestock facilities dumping to the river.

In February of 2004, Tagus Basin Authority communicated to the dam owner, Robledo de Chavela Town Hall, the expiration of the water use license due to the dam abandonment status.

In June of 2012, Tagus Basin Authority became aware of a water leakage of the outlet of the dam base spillway and it was not possible to be repaired due to the irreparable condition of the gate mechanism.

©Ministry of Environment of Spain, MAGRAMA

Therefore, Tagus Basin Authority started the necessary steps to start with urgency Robledo de Chavela dam demolition, to avoid a high mortality of fish and also a possible sediment problem downstream, which could affect the water supply for the city of Madrid.

Before the reservoir was emptied, several electro-fishing trips were done to save as many fish as possible. Also, the sediments accumulated in the reservoir were tested to check if they were contaminated with heavy metals,  but the analysis revealed that the sediments could be re-use to restore other areas because there was no hazard of contamination.

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