Water usage

We optimise water management and ensure it is used in accordance with the best practises

Climate action Water Nature

The efficient management of water resources has become vital for the health of our planet. Iberdrola Group makes every effort to use water rationally and sustainably and tackle the risks related with its scarcity.

The Iberdrola group exhaustively monitors its use and specific consumptions of water.
The Iberdrola Group exhaustively monitors its use and specific consumptions of water.

Origin of the usage

The main problems identified by the Group regarding water are depletion, climate change and contamination, all of which it aims to minimise. In Iberdrola's case, the activities that could contribute the most towards resolving these problems are conventional energy generation techniques and administration (offices).

Committed as it is to respecting natural resources, Iberdrola exhaustively monitors its use and specific consumptions of water. This involves making year-on-year comparisons and looking for ways to optimise its production processes by using recycled water, reusing water across its production cycles, etc.

To achieve this, Iberdrola is constantly looking for the right method to avoid significant problems and implementing various measures aimed at more sustainable water usage.

The most representative actions in this field are:



of the water collected in thermal generation and cogeneration facilities returned to the environment


3.27 hm³

of water collected saved through reuse in closed or semi-open cycles


4.16 hm³

of waste water recycled in cooling processes

 Fiscal year 2022 data.


Using water to generate energy

Water is mainly used in the conventional energy generating processes:

  • Replace the least efficient technologies with renewables and combined cycle.
  • Monitor collection and discharge [PDF] External link, opens in new window.:
    • Limit the collection and consumption volume of continental waters across all technologies.
    • Avoid water collection in areas suffering water stress.
    • Assurance of water quality when discharging.
    • Reuse and recycle water within facilities.
  • Continually improve the processes used at the facilities for lower consumption and impact.
  • Establish and monitor the surface threshold levels and the natural flow rates in the hydroelectricity generation reservoirs.

The Group's changing water usage is presented below:

The Iberdrola Group's changing water uses


Note: water usage is defined as water extracted less water discharged to the natural environment.



The following table shows the changes in the amount of water usage for generating thermal power. The increase in the amount of water in recent years matches increased production by cogeneration plants and the increase in the average temperature during these years:


Intensity of water usage in thermal generation


Note: it includes the energy generated by combined cycle plants and cogeneration.



The increase in water intensity in recent years corresponds to an increase in CHP production and an increase in average temperature in those years:

Relationship between water intensity and production in CHPs

Water use in thermal generation (m3) Net electricity production (GWh)

However, Iberdrola's core policy of replacing its least efficient technologies with clean and sustainable ones, such as renewables and dry combined cycle, is the reason for the decrease in the net water consumption of thermal power generation:


Water collected in thermal power generation


Office water consumption

Run awareness raising campaigns to achieve a more efficient and responsible use of domestic water by employees in the administration and control buildings.

Projects and preventive actions

Respect for this resource also involves preserving biodiversity, meaning that it is just as important to monitor water collection so as not to disrupt water ecosystems as it is to reduce the risk of spillages and, therefore, prevent contamination.

Iberdrola is implementing safety and contention measures to keep damage to a minimum: every year preventive actions are undertaken to prevent and reduce the impact of possible spillages, such as the construction of tanks for the collection of oil in the unlikely event of a mass spillage at substations and transformation centres or the waterproofing of spill trays and bunds.


 Environmental Policy

 Environmental Indicators