Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Fundación Global Nature

La Fundación Global Nature

Fundación 2001 Global Nature is a Spanish nationwide private entity constituted in 1993 and registered in the Registry of Foundations of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports with the national number 382.

Our mission is the conservation, protection, and management of the environment. The projects that we develop contribute to the maintenance and restoration of habitats and endangered species, technological innovation and recovery of traditional farming activities.

As a non-profit educational foundation, our projects include a major environmental education component in the form of courses, seminars, conferences, youth exchanges, work camps, and the publication of research work.


The Agroenergetics Group of the Plant Production Department: Botany and Plant Protection, of the Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM) has been working for more than 2 decades on issues related to the production of biomass with energy-rich crops and on wastewater treatment with aquatic plants (emergent macrophytes). In the field of wastewater treatment, they have developed a specific treatment system using emergent macrophytes that are converted into floating macrophytes (FLOTATING MACROPHYTES FILTER system). This system has been used successfully for water treatment in several national airports and its use in processing urban wastewater is the object of development of this LIFE-Environment project. The system has been patented in Spain, USA, and various European countries.

The Agroenergetics Group is participating in this project as the author of the projects for construction of the experimental filter prototypes, in the oversight of the construction of these prototypes, in the production and supply of the macrophytes planted in the experimental canals, and the scientific follow-up of the operation of the system.

E.S.T.I. Agrónomos

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid


The municipality of Lorca is located in the southern part of Murcia Autonomic Community. It is one of the most extensive municipalities in Spain (1676 km2). It has a Mediterranean climate, with minimum temperatures that seldom below 6ºC and an average summer temperature of 25º C. The climate is arid and precipitation is very irregular, with an annual rainfall of 200 to 300 mm. Its central population centre has 35,000 inhabitants. Another 35,000 inhabitants live in small, disperse population centres and numerous single-family homes throughout the area of vegetable farms, “Huerta de Murcia”, and surrounding mountains.

The dispersion of the population makes it difficult to lay sewer lines and treat wastewater for the community as a whole. At present, the city centre has a biological treatment plant consisting of a two-stage system that operates poorly. Zarzadilla de Ramos already has a biological treatment plant with prolonged aeration, the districts of Zarzadilla de Totana, La Parroquia and Almendricos have planned for biological treatment plants with prolonged aeration. Campo López does not have a sewer system. Finally, there are thousands of dispersed single-family homes in the municipality that are not connected to sewage collection systems and do not have wastewater treatment systems.

Lorca has almost 1100 pig farms for meat production and breeding. These farms are scattered and cause severe environmental problems due to the lack of adequate purine treatment. Their size varies widely, from small family farms with 8 to 10 breed sows or 100 stalls for fattening, to highly industrialised and intensified operations with almost 2000 breed sows and 9000 fattening stalls.

These characteristics make Lorca an ideal candidate for the execution of a demonstration project to test Floating Macrophyte Systems (FMF) because there is no vegetative winter resting period, the population is dispersed, and the water is scarce and must be reused.

The Lorca City Council, as represented by its Mayor Mr Miguel Navarro Molina, has given its support to the execution of a demonstration project to test the effectiveness of wastewater treatment systems using floating macrophytes: the LIFE project New Green Floating Macrophyte Filters for the Mediterranean Region (LFIE02 ENV/E/000182).