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Itoiz dam, Spain


En 2002 se llenó la represa de Itoiz tras diez años de lucha por impedirlo. Está situada en Navarra, en el río Irati en la cuenca del Ebro. El costo fue de más de 165 millones de euros, el propósito dar agua a Pamplona y regar 57 000 ha a través del Canal de Navarra que ha de tener 177 kms. Su capacidad es de 586 hm3.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict: Itoiz dam, Spain
State or province:Navarra
Location of conflict:Aoiz
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Embalse de 586 hectómetros cúbicos, para derivar agua para la ciudad de Pamplona y para riegos. A cargo de la empresa mixta Canal de Navarra. Produce también 28 MW e electricidad. El canal ha de tener 177 km. La inversión total se acerca a 200 millones de euro, teniendo en cuenta las dos centrales eléctricas.

Project area:1100
Level of Investment:165,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:3000
Start of the conflict:1992
Company names or state enterprises:Canal de Navarra S.A. from Spain
Iberdrola from Spain
Relevant government actors:Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro (CHE), Gobierno de Navarra, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Audiencia Nacional, Tribunal Supremo de España
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:[email protected] con Itoiz, Greenpeace, NuevaCultura del Agua
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Groundwater pollution or depletion
Other Environmental impactsPotential geological, seismic risk
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The dam was built, some of the activists from [email protected] con Itoiz were sent to prison for long terms.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

BEAUMONT, J.M., BEAUMONT, J.L., ARROJO, P. y BERNAL, E. "El embalse de Itoiz, la razón o el poder". Colección Nueva cultura del agua. Coagret. Bakeaz. Bilbao 1997.

Informe del geólogo Antonio Casas, riesgos geológicos
[click to view]

La nueva central a pie de presa de Itoiz, inaugurada en 2009 (Diario de Navarra, 3/3/ 20099
[click to view]

Seismic hazard assessment for the Itoiz dam site (Western Pyrenees, Spain), J. García-Mayordomoa, J.M. Insua-Arévalo. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering

Volume 31, Issue 7, July 2011, Pages 1051–1063
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Actions against the dam, video
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

A 50 minute documentary on Itoiz
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Joan Martinez Alier
Last update30/06/2014
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