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Abengoa Water and innovation

Fresh water represents just 3% of the water on the planet and only 0.3% of this is available in rivers and 0.6% in underground water, since the rest forms part of the polar ice caps. Therefore, the majority of the water on the planet is either difficult to access or sea water. Furthermore, human activity leads to waste being dumped into rivers and coastal waters, which leads to alterations in water composition.

Water is therefore a scarce natural resource, which means that it should be subject to sustainable management practices to ensure that economic growth is compatible with the availability of this resource; its role in the natural environment must also be taken into account.

Banking on innovation

Water innovation at Abengoa is aimed at getting results and creating value by developing new treatment technologies and keeping sustainable development at the forefront.

In order to do this there is a specific R+D+i plan for water led by Abengoa Water, which is based on four main elements:

  • its own resources, principally the R+D+i Department and the R+D+i Centre;
  • R+D financial assistance and grants from various bodies;
  • agreements with universities;
  • technology agreements.

The solution to water shortage problems lies in a combination of properly managing scarce resources, generating alternative resources to water and incorporating sustainability criteria into water treatment and use.

The stance taken by Abengoa Water is to focus on developing inverse-osmosis desalination technology in order to be able to make sea and salt water drinkable, and developing waste-water treatment technology for regeneration, in order to allow it to be re-used and in that way generate new water resources where they are scarce.

Additionally, it is developing hollow-fibre filtration membrane technology based on polymers to be applied both to desalination processes and to water-treatment processes for purification, regeneration and to create drinking water.

To do all of this we have an R+D+i Centre in Seville (Spain), which gives us a competitive advantage by providing 3,000 m2 dedicated to experimentation, including laboratories, a workshop, a control room and an exhibition room with the capacity for 70 researchers.

Centro de investigación


  • Spain
  • 65.000 m3/day
  • In operation