The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 50 million loan to the Cantabria Region to help finance its investment in water and sanitation facilities.

The project is designed to increase the reliability and efficiency of the water supply in coastal areas and improve wastewater management through the construction of four treatment plants and various sewerage infrastructure schemes, enabling the Region to comply with the wastewater quality aspects of the EU urban wastewater treatment directive. The sanitation investments are partly included in the Operational Programme for the Environment and will be cofinanced by ERDF funds.

Against a background of water shortages, these schemes will have clear environmental benefits, contributing to the efforts to adapt to climate change and meet water demand.  The sanitation investments will also help to reduce pollution by improving the quality of discharges into surface and coastal waters, thereby fostering the reuse of domestic wastewater for non-domestic purposes and meeting the objectives of the EU directives.

The planned investments under this loan form part of the Water Supply Master Plan and the Sanitation Master Plan for Cantabria. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

The schemes financed by this loan meet the EU’s objectives for environmental protection, an area in which support for projects in the water sector is a key sphere of EIB activity.