LIFE18 CCA/ES/001122

Water efficient systemic concept for the climate change adaptation in urban areas

The climate in the region of Andalusia, in southern Spain, is characterised by hot, dry summers with heat wave events. Most climate models redict these events will increase. For instance, in the city of Seville (capital of Andalusia and the largest city in southern Spain) an increase in the average temperature of 4.5C is expected and a reduction in rain of 20% by the year 2100. This will put more pressure on water resources, which are critical for life, the environment and society. Given this, urban planners need innovative tools that allow them to respond to the new climatic challenges and requirements, adapting to the impacts of climate change.


The WATERCOOL project aims to develop and test innovative solutions to cope with high temperatures, both outdoors and indoors, and with temporarily high water run-off as well as drought situations in an urban environment subject to climate change. The urban water network will act as the basic structure for the development of urban green solutions and cooling measures to adapt to the effects of climate change, maximising the sustainability of the city and citizens well-being.


In a demonstration area on one avenue, water infrastructure will be used as a vehicle for cost-effective adaptation to heat (by combining cool reservoirs and functional pavements) and to improve efficiency in water use and comfort. WATERCOOL will also carry out three demonstrations of a bioclimatic comfort stay, for short-, medium- and long-term stays. A short-term stay is one with a high density of occupation for a short period of time (e.g. at a bus stop or pedestrian crossing). Medium-term stays comprise those of intensive and discontinuous use (such as at rest areas outside buildings). Long-term stays include those of variable occupation during a longer period (e.g. at street intersections).


The project will contribute to implementation of a range of policy and legislation, including the EU adaptation strategy, the roadmap to a resource efficient Europe (COM(2011)571), the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020, and the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.


WATERCOOLs specific objectives include:

Developing a grid-based water management system to soften the impact of water-related extreme effects linked to climate change;

Improving the urban climate in the demo area (decreasing the temperature by 3-5C and generating 28C cold air) by implementing climate change adaptation measures in urban spaces;

Developing new tools for collaborative management by public and private bodies;

Engaging new cities and citizens in replication to increase the level of commitment and participation in sustainable management of resources; and

Creating a framework integrating all stakeholders so that problems can be solved actively and collaboratively.


Expected results:

  • A demonstration area covering one avenue and its junction with two other streets using water infrastructure for climate change adaptation with the following results: – surface temperature reduction of 3-5C; – run-off reduction of 80%; – water reservoir capacity of 350-360 m3; – irrigation consumption reduction of 20%; and – pollution reduction of 8% (nitrogen oxides).
  • Three demonstrations of a bioclimatic comfort stay (short-, medium- and long-term stay) yielding: surface temperature reduction in stays of 5-10C; passive cold air generation 28C; energy saving 50-70%;
  • Decision support system tool for the smart implementation of the different available bioclimatic solutions;
  • Climate change urban adaptation office;

  • Green solutions catalogue comprising bioclimatic technologies and solutions for sustainable urban development;
  • Manual of technologies and bioclimatic solutions for sustainable urbanism, focused on the healthy street concept for quick replication and transference;
  • Development of three business models to enable replication of the projects solutions;
  • Identification of at least seven European cities for replication of the solutions implemented, and elaboration of a detailed replication plan; and
  • Dissemination of the projects results to 100 local authorities, 10 research centres, 100 companies and 3 000 citizens.

Environmental issues addressed:



Resilient communities


Urban design (urban-rural)


Water saving

Climate change Adaptation

Climate change Adaptation

Resilient communities
Land-use & Planning

Land-use & Planning

Urban design (urban-rural)


Water saving


water saving‚ energy saving‚ urban area‚ urban planning‚ water reuse‚ rain water‚ water resources management‚ climate change adaptation‚ climate resilience‚ Covenant of Mayors‚ drought‚ urban heat island

Tarjet EU legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 …
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2013)216 – EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)





Spain Alten, Spain AgenciaEFE (Agencia EFE S.A.U., S.M.E.), Spain SEVILLE(Ayuntamiento de Sevilla (Seville City Council)), Spain US(University of Seville), Spain

Administrative data:

Project reference

LIFE18 CCA/ES/001122


01-SEP-2019 to 31-AUG -2023

Total budget

3.779.677,00 €

EU contribution

2.078.602,00 €