Dwarf gull, garganey and whiskered tern are just three of approximately 120 bird species that take refuge in the aquatic habitat and surrounding area of a water treatment lagoon system in the Spanish town of Medina del Campo. While some species
live there permanently, others stop in for a rest each year during their migratory passage.
With the help of funding from IFM’s community grants program, water management company Aqualia is partnering with bird conservation organisation SEO Birdlife to continue work on restoring the lagoon ecosystem.
Our community grants program aims to support portfolio companies to collaborate with community organisations on projects that produce locally-focused environmental and/or social benefits.
The restoration of the Medina del Campo lagoons began in 2008 when Aqualia commenced its waste water treatment plant operations adjacent to the lagoon system. Aqualia observed that the purification ponds had become a recurring stop for birds during
migration. Instead of replacing the old wastewater filtering system, the company opted to protect and maintain it. Aqualia launched a sustainable water purification and re-use project that has increased biodiversity, water quality and water
level stability in the lagoon ecosystem.
The construction of nests on the water’s surface and amongst the vegetation around the lagoons has helped to create conditions that have attracted growing numbers and species of birds. Each year, SEO Birdlife conducts a census of the lagoon
system’s bird population and variety of species. Bird populations have increased since the project began, and at last count, the annual population numbered approximately 8,600 birds. Since November 2020, five new species to the area
were recorded, including the Savi’s warbler (pictured) – the first sighting in the province in five years.