Facility Tour

Date: June 27, 2018

IDA and AEDyR are pleased to offer conference delegates a special 3-hour Tour of Valencia re-use application sites and UNESCO World Heritage site of the Valencia Ancient Court of Water.

Guides: Mr. Manuel Aldeguer, General Director of Water from Valencia Region and Mr. Enrique Lapuente Gerente EPSAR

Delegate arrive at  9:15
Bus departs Melia hotel at 9:30 am
Bus returns to Melia hotel at 12:30 pm
(Note – be sure to bring a form of identification)

To book your seat, please contact Michele Pszenny at mpszenny@idadesal.org.
There is no cost to the Conference delegates for this tour.


Tour includes two stops. The first stop is to the Acequia del Oro irrigation, one of the main traditional ditches in Valencia which distributes reused water from the Pinedo Waste Water Treatment Plant for rice field irrigation and environmental regeneration of the Albufera lagoon. The second stop is to the Water Court of the Valencia, the oldest existing institution of justice in Europe and an interesting visit about how water rights have been managed from ancient times to the present today.

1st Stop: Acequia del Oro, irrigation fields and La Albufera

The largest WWTP in Valencia, Pinedo, provides reclaimed water for different uses. Many of them are for agricultural use, mainly for rice fields and environmental, with the incorporation of reused water to the fresh water lagoon known as La Albufera, which que also an environmental protected area. In this visit the attendees will have the oportunity to visit Acequia del Oro, one of the main water transport Canals sending water to La Albufera, as well as the rice fields and La Albufera itself. General Water authorities from Valencia Regional government will enlighten us about the uses and qualities of reused water and the irrigated land, with high environmental value and natural beauty will be visited.

L’Albufera de Valencia is an environment whose natural assets and traditions are protected under several types of regulation. Each of them demands different levels of conservation and each also has its own special features.

  • At regional level, it is protected as a Natural Park and listed in the regional Wetland List.
  • At EU level, it has been declared a Site of Community Importance (SCI, under the Habitats Directive) and a Special Protection Area for birds (SPA, under the Birds Directive).
  • At international level, l’Albufera de Valencia has been included on the prestigious Convention on Wetlands of International Importance list (RAMSAR site).

Learn More

2nd Stop: Water Court of the Plain of Valencia

The Water Court of Valencia is the oldest existing institution of justice in Europe. Although some legal institutions that solved the water problems of the territories of Valencia would already exist from Roman times, the organization which we have inherited dates from times of the Al-Andalus and, very possibly, from times of the Califato (Caliph rulers) of Córdoba, perfected from the first moments of the conquest of the Kingdom of Valencia by the king Don Jaime.

Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO.

This institution with international renown is in charge of the management of the different conflicts between the irrigation users in the Acequias of Valencia and it is still applying justice over the water management.

The seat and meeting places will be visited where members of the Court will explain its functions and history.

Learn More

The Tribunal of Waters (Water Right’s Court) of Valencia, is an institution of Justice to settle disputes arising from the use of irrigation water by farmers in several Irrigation Communities in the agricultural orchard of Valencia. The Tribunal’s origin is not fully known, although it is likely to have evolved from previous Andalusian traditions. Some historians such as José Vicente Gómez Bayarri placed its origins in Roman times.In 2009 it was chosen along with the Council of Wise Men of the plain of Murcia as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The Tribunal’s origin is not fully known, although it is likely to have evolved from previous Andalusian traditions. Some historians such as José Vicente Gómez Bayarri placed its origins in Roman times

The most widespread theory, but without any historical basis, is owed to Francisco Javier Borrull. His hypothesis is that there was already a precedent in Roman times, but its foundation as it operates today occurred during the reigns of the Caliphs Abd-ar-Rahman III and Al-Hakam II, specifically in 960. Borrull’s reason was that during the reign of these two Caliphs was an era of complete peace on the Iberian peninsula, and therefore it must have been founded then. In fact, the millennial anniversary of the founding of the Water Tribunal took place in 1960, led by Vicente Giner Boira, legal adviser to the Tribunal at the time, and leading proponent of this theory in the twentieth century.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Recent session of the Tribunal de Las Aguas; allegedly wise men seated. They always meeting in the front door of the cathedaral.

Ancient meeting of Tribunal de Las Aguas