Spain Water is the Spanish support structure for IAHR. Spain Water is a public initiative which includes: CEDEX, the General Directorate for Water, and the General Directorate for the Coast and the Sea as promoting organizations. They have agreed to support IAHR in facilitating the continuity of its Secretariat within the offices of the Centre for Hydrographic Studies of CEDEX, where it has been located since 2001.
CEDEX is an autonomous organisation within the central Spanish State Administration; it belongs organically to the Ministry of Transportation, Mobility and Urban Planning and functionally to the Ministries of Transportation, Mobility and Urban Planning, and for Ecological Transition and Demographic challenges.
CEDEX is an organisation made up of multi-disciplinary teams of highly-qualified professionals dedicated to the study and resolution of problems related to civil and environmental engineering mainly in the field of water, in both freshwater and marine environments. Among CEDEX's seven centres, three are specialised in water and the environment: the Centre for Hydrographic Studies dedicated to freshwater, the Centre for Harbours and Coastal Studies working in the marine field and the Centre for Applied Technique Studies, responsible for ecological aspects related to water in general.
CEDEX was established in 1957 as a result of a merger of laboratories from different disciplines in civil engineering, including the ‘Laboratory of Hydraulics’ and the ‘Laboratory of Ports’ of the former Madrid School of Roads, Canals and Ports when it was part of the Ministry of Education, a part of the former Ministry of Public Works. CEDEX has its origins in the university sphere and as such continues to be involved in academic activities.
Furthermore, Spain is a country with a strong tradition in water matters. When it comes to inland waters, Spain has more than 1,300 large dams and is a pioneer in the management of water resources. In the maritime sphere Spain is the European country with the longest coastline (7,880 km) and therefore a large number of beaches, 44 large commercial ports and many fishing ports and marinas. Moreover, both at the continental and coastal level recent years have seen considerable activity in the design and execution of works and in research and technology development (R&TD). All of this attests to the importance of hydraulic matters in Spain.
The General Directorate for Water is a governing body of the Spanish Secretary of State for the Environment. This is the highest organ of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic challenges, which, under the authority of the Minister, directs and coordinates the execution of the powers of this department in relation to the formulation of policies on environmental quality and pollution prevention, climate change, environmental assessment, promoting the use of clean technologies and habits for cleaner and more sustainable consumption.
Under the leadership of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic challenges, the General Directorate for the Coast and the Sea ensures the protection of the coastal and marine environment in Spain.