For over10 years IH Cantabria has been conducting studies and research aimed at understanding the behavior of the Arga River and its major tributaries in the vicinity of Pamplona, more specifically looking at the water quaility.

In one of the fist studies carried out the focus was on the analysis of the impact of the discharges into the network by studying the lowering of the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the urban sections of the river. With this information, the regional government was able to establish the correct location and dimensions of various storm drains and thereby improve the sanitation of the city of Pamplona.

In the "Survey of modeling the impact of the discharges into the river Arga Arazuri" developed between 2010 and 2011, which extended the previous analysis d to the section between Pamplona and Puente La Reina, we analyzed not only the impact of those discharges but also the influx of the discharge from the hydroelectric plant located at the Arakil river.

In conducting these studies have used hydraulic calculation software (HEC- RAS) and
water quality simulation programs (QUAL2E and WASP) both for permanent and non permanent regimes. Their parameters have been calibrated and validated using data obtained from specific water quality campaigns carried out by the Government of Navarra.

The results of these studies have allowed us to develop different management strategies for the Arga basin, ranging from the performance on the quality of discharges, the proposed removal of some dams or providing critical flows from reservoirs. A unique aspect of this study has been the analysis of the impact of the mini hydro-electric stations on the river's water quality.
The RECORAM project  (Optimization of monitoring networks to assess conservation of high mountain rivers. Ref: 132/2010) is a project funded by the Autonomous National Parks Agency of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, effective 2011-2013 and was undertaken at the National Park of Picos de Europa in Northern Spain.

The end result of the project will be the design of a monitoring network for the conservation status of river ecosystems using tested variables and field campaigns that allow control-impact statistics necessary to be able to quantify the effects of specific pressures. To achieve this fundamental objective has been a distributed hydrological model (SWAT) and there have been stretches of rivers classified according to their hydrological function and the physical characteristics of the habitat. Cameras have been installed and pressure and temperature sensors are used to monitor these variables continuously and point sampling has been conducted all of which will help evaluate the adequacy of the structural and functional ecosystem to monitor point and diffuse discharges in the river network of the Park.

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The current offshore wind scene does not yet have accurate ways to characterize the wind resource at a reasonable cost ifor great depths. IDERMAR helps solve this issue, offering an innovative service which allows a client to obtain accurate data and certified resource (wind, waves, currents, etc.), without having to address the technological or economic risks by floating meteorological masts.

The services offered by IDERMAR allow the end user receiving the basic data required resource for the development of offshore wind farms. This business model involves a significant cost reduction and risk for end customers, which only have to invest in the received data, not the technology behind it.

IDERMAR focuses mainly on:

• Promoters and investors, who require wind measurements certified by an independent agency.

• Governments or authorities responsible for the control of marine environments, requiring characterization and  resource management for the marine energy potential.

• Research centers, providing analysis of marine resources in order to develop environmental studies or to generate, test or calibrate other technologies on floating platforms.

IDERMAR's main goal is to develop innovative ideas in the offshore energy field.

  • Design and creation of ideas.
  • Partner search for new projects.
  • Development of intellectual property.
  • Prototypes manufacturing.
  • Test site developping and management.
  • Product certification.
  • End product distribution and marketing.

IDERMAR is a joint venture between SODERCAN, ACTIUM, an Investment company of the APIA XXI Group, the Environmental Hydraulics Institute IH Cantabria, of the University of Cantabria (UC) and the Helium Company.


In response to the Off-shore Wind Market's demands, IDERMAR is developing two lines of business, Systems for Monitoring the Off-Shore Wind Energy Resource and Floating Systems for Off-shore Aerogenerators.

IDERMAR is a mixed private-public company set up by the Cantabria Government through SODERCAN, ACTIUM, an Investment company of the APIA XXI Group, the Hydraulics Institute (HI) of the University of Cantabria (UC) and the Helium Company.
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MERMAID: Innovative Multi-purpose offshore platforms: planning, design and operation.


MERMAID will develop concepts for the next generation of offshore platforms which can be used for multiple purposes, including energy extraction, aquaculture and platform related transport. The project does not envisage building new platforms, but will theoretically examine new concepts, such as combining structures and building new structures on representative sites under different conditions.

The 28 partner institutes forming MERMAID are Universities (11), Research institutes (8), Industries (5) and Small and Medium Enterprises (4 SME's), from many regions in EU. The group represents a broad range of expertise in hydraulics, wind engineering, aquaculture, renewable energy, marine environment, project management as well as socio-economics.

MERMAID is one of three EU-FP7 funded projects selected for funding in response to Ocean 2011 on multi-use offshore platforms (FP7-OCEAN.2011-1 "Multi-use offshore platforms"). This project shall have a cost of 7,4 million euro. The European Union has granted a financial contribution of 5,5 million euro.


Mermaid website

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This project proposes an innovative methodology for the environmental restoration of coastal areas by developing a pilot system built for characterization, dredging, treatment and recovery of sludge and sediments with organic and inorganic pollutants ( INNODRAVAL ) ( IPT -310000-2010-17) . 2008-2011.
Spanish National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation.

The INNO - DRAVAL project pursues innovation in environmental restoration operations on
coastal areas by developing  an Integrated Pilot System for the characterization, dredging, treatment and recovery of sludge and sediments with organic and inorganic pollutants. It aims to develop tools to enable the implementation of a comprehensive environmental restoration of coastal areas, applying the best available techniques in the different stages of the process

The specific objectives of the project are to design , develop, implement , validate and optimize :

  •   Processes related mechanical dredging operations .
  •   Technical and environmental characterization methodologies .
  •   Techniques and methodologies for monitoring the environmental condition of the processes.
  •   Environmental dredging.
  •   Treatment and recovery of sludge and contaminated marine sediments in coastal and port areas .
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The MERMAID project funded by the European Union brings together 28 research centers, universities and companies in the renewable energy sector in 12 countries, with nearly 6 million euros.

Europe's oceans will be subject to a massive development of marine infrastructure in the near future. The most obvious is the number of offshore energy production facilities such as offshore wind farms, the exploitation of wave energy, the expansion of electrical connections and also the development and implementation of marine aquaculture. All these activities will also lead to an increased need for infrastructure to support marine installation and the continuous operation of the facilities. However both the economic cost and the environmental impact have to be reduced in order to increase the viability of the marine area. To make better use of these infrastructures, the project studies the feasibility of its use for other purposes, such as sustainable aquaculture or creating habitats for the proliferation of marine communities,  two of the main objectives of the European Union under this call.

Activities led by IH Cantabria will focus on gathering information on existing platforms and devices of the energy obtained by other groups within the MERMAID project and will be used to analyze the compatibility of different energy devices for integration into multiple use platforms (MUP) or integration in multipurpose farms. Numerical models of systems connecting devices energy production offshore and onshore power grid is developed, and energy storage systems have been investigated both at sea and in the viability tierra.Además Connection to the network self-sustaining systems of platforms, for example, oriented aquaculture will be investigated.

The objective of the task of IH Cantabria and other partners is to provide a map for the design and implementation of multipurpose farms. Physical modelling willl also be conducted at the CCOB, in which a to scale multipurpose platform farm will be built and studied in depth. Different devices share the same platform and the area of the sea. Two design maps will be provided by IH Cantabria from the analysis of the different integration schemes. The design of the maps takes into account the conditions of marine climate, geographic limitations, geophysical and device compatibility, etc.. All of this information will help provide researchers with a clear idea of what should be included in an MUP project that can be used to study the feasibility of future economic evaluations.

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IH Cantabria y la Universidad de Cantabria participan en CoCoNet, un proyecto europeo dentro del séptimo programa marco, que intenta fomentar un uso sostenible de las zonas costeras del mar Mediterráneo y Negro para la producción de energía eólica offshore. El proyecto pretende contribuir a la aprobación de legislaciones y políticas para la producción de energía renovable marina basadas en el conocimiento científico más avanzado. Para ello se pretende crear redes entre los diferentes países colindantes para una mejor gestión de zonas marinas protegidas existentes o potenciales tanto en el Mar Mediterráneo como en el Mar Negro incluyendo no sólo las costas sino también las zonas de aguas profundas intentando encontrar soluciones legales transfronterizos para asegurar la protección de las comunidades biológicas que habitan en ellos.

El desarrollo de parques eólicos marinos es una prioridad entre los países del norte de Europa países mientras que en el Mediterráneo y el Mar Negro no se ha realizado todavía ningún dispositivo de producción de energía marina renovable. Estos dispositivos producen una serie de efectos, no necesariamente negativas, sobre el medio marino, la vida marina y la influencia de las actividades humanas que debemos regular y controlar para poderlas minimizar en el case de que sean negativas y potenciar en el caso contrario.

El proyecto abarca muchos países, e involucra a los investigadores a través de muchos temas diferentes, a fin de lograr un enfoque holístico de la protección del medio ambiente. Participan más de 39 centros de investigación y universidades de toda Europa y países del Mar Negro y Mediterráneo, incluyendo Egipto, Rusia, Ucrania, Turquía, Francia, Alemania y España entre otros. Debido a la importancia del proyecto y las repercusiones que puede tener para este sector tan innovador, la Unión Europea ha destinado 9.000.000 de euros, de los cuales una parte cubrirá las actividades del Instituto de Hidráulica de la Universidad de Cantabria.

IH Cantabria realizará dentro del proyecto estudios relacionados con potencial eólico, parecidos a los que se han hecho en la costa española para el proyecto ENOLA financiado para el IDAE, (Instituto para la Diversificación y el Ahorra Energético). La inversión de importantes recursos financieros en las energías renovables marinas offshore requiere una estimación fiable del potencial de energía eólica marina, utilizando bases de datos de viento a largo plazo. Las futuras tendencias climáticas podrían afectar la disponibilidad del recurso eólico e interferir con la economía de energía eólica, por lo que el proyecto CoCoNet está diseñado para proporcionar toda la información disponible sobre el potencial de energía eólica offshore en los mares Mediterráneo y Negro teniendo en cuenta diferentes escenarios climatológicos propuestos por el IPCC.

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La Fundación Iberdrola, el viernes 15 de Junio, publicó la lista de seleccionados para recibir dentro del programa: "Ayudas a la Investigación en Energía y Medio Ambiente", una beca para la financiación de un proyecto de investigación durante un año al investigador predoctoral cántabro Fernando del Jesus Peñil, Ing. De Caminos, Canales y Puertos por la Universidad de Cantabria y que actualmente se encuentra desarrollando su actividad investigadora en el Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental (IH Cantabria), más concretamente en el grupo de Energía e Ingeniería Offshore.

Con su propuesta de proyecto de investigación consiguió ser seleccionado entre más de 352 solicitantes, entre los que se contaban alumnos de doctorado, doctores, e incluso profesores titulares de universidad. De entre las 15 becas otorgadas solo 9 han sido de nueva adjudicación y 6 renovaciones de años anteriores. Fernando del Jesus Peñil ha sido el único seleccionado en el ámbito de energía eólica, siendo el resto de galardonados de campos como los nanomateriales, la biomasa, la energía solar térmica etc. El proyecto comienza a desarrollarse en Julio y estará supervisado por el Catedrático Íñigo Losada Rodríguez y dirigido por los doctores Raúl Guanche García y Melisa Menéndez García.

El proyecto seleccionado tiene por objetivo la obtención de una metodología que permita la correcta caracterización del recurso eólico en emplazamientos offshore, teniendo en cuenta todas las variables que influyen en el comportamiento del viento. El proyecto se centrará en el área de estudio de la costa de Cantabria y tiene un plazo de un año, aproximadamente.

El 3 de Julio tuvo lugar en Madrid el acto oficial de entrega de estas ayudas en Casa de América (Madrid), con la presencia de Sus Altezas Reales los Príncipes de Asturias, el Ministro de Industria, Turismo y Comercio, el presidente de Iberdrola y el presidente de la Fundación Iberdrola, entre otras personalidades.

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Desarrollo de protocolos específicos para la evaluación del estado ecológico de las masas de agua costeras en el entorno de influencia de vertidos de emisarios submarinos (VIGES2) (CTM2008-04649/Tecno).
2008-2011. MEC.

Plan Nacional I+D+I (2008-2011).

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PORTONOVO. Water Quality in Harbours. 2009-2012.

INTERREG IVB. Atlantic Area. EU.

The overall objective is to develop a tool that allows transnational sustainable management of port activities and the implementation of a system to monitor and control the environmental quality of port waters. This project has developed a methodology that has been validated in strategic points of the Atlantic Area (Port of Falmouth, Belfast, Bordeaux, Cherbourg, Aveiro, Portimao, Huelva, Santander).

Among the results of the project is the installation of a Decision Support System (DSS).

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