Hydraulic And Environmental Engineering Group (GIHA)

Última modificación
Mon , 26/06/2023 - 10:21

The embryo of the Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Group (GIHA) started in 2010 as a working group to catalyze and steer the activity associated with the new Civil Engineering Degree at EUPLA in the fields of hydraulic and hydrological as well as environmental and sanitary engineering. Since 2012, EUPLA, through the GIHA Group, is a member of ZINNAE - Cluster for the efficient use of water, which has currently more than 40 members, including companies and public institutions in the water sector.

In 2015 it received the official recognition as an Emerging Research Group from the Government of Aragon for the period 2015-2017. At that stage, GIHA included researchers with different profiles whose field of activity was related to research, training and transfer of results in water and environmental engineering.

At the end of 2017, a new strategic project was defined. It led to the incorporation of new research members and new lines of work thanks to the official recognition of the GIHA Group as a Development Research Group in the Autonomous Community of Aragon for the period 2017-2019, and also thanks to its funding for the same period in order to achieve the recognition of Research Group of Excellence in the medium term. This funding was granted through the Operational Program of the European Regional Development Fund for Aragon 2014-2020 "Building Europe from Aragon".  

The GIHA Group was born with a clear mission: to contribute to an efficient and sustainable management of natural resources (water in particular) and thus improve people´s life quality as well as the environment and its sustainability. Its specific objectives are:

  • To promote a more resilient society in the face of extreme weather events (such as floods and droughts) in a climate change context.
  • To promote efficient and sustainable water management in both urban and rural areas.
  • To propose advanced and innovative technological solutions for the sustainable drainage of our cities while respecting the environment and, in particular, the receiving water environments.
  • To assess anthropogenic and climatic impact on water quality in receiving water environments.
  • To research and promote alternative wastewater treatment techniques using natural systems.
  • To assess the potential of the use of waste in the building field and, more specifically, in the civil engineering area.
  • To promote the use of agricultural and livestock waste within the the circular economy framework.

According to its latest Strategic Plan, the GIHA´s most important lines of research and fields of activity to achieve the aforementioned objectives are the following:

  • Assessment of the socio-economic impact of floods in urban and peri-urban environments in a climate change context.
  • Analysis of the hydraulic, environmental and energy efficiency of green roofs and other sustainable urban drainage systems.
  • Natural wastewater treatment systems
  • Intelligent monitoring applied to civil engineering (including monitoring of sewage system discharges to the receiving environment, use of fiber optics for leak detection in dams, monitoring of complex structural and factory systems).
  • Waste recycling in building and civil works.

Research projects


On December 19, 2022, the EUPLA was awarded the coordinated project "PROPERINLET (Proper management of grated inlets to ensure hydraulic and environmental benefits)" within the framework of the National Call for Ecological and Digital Transition Projects of the National Innovation Agency of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The coordinated project is divided into two subprojects led by the GIHA Group of the EUPLA and the Hidr@m Group of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena. The GIHA Group is leading the project "CLOGGINGINLET (Better understanding of stormwater interception and clogging dynamics of surface drainage systems)" with a grant amounting to almost 105,570.00 € and a duration of two years (December 2022-November 2024). Funding during the first year is 53,840.70 €. GIHA is represented by B. Russo as Principal Investigator and P. Lopez and A. Acero as members of the research team.


"DIGITBALSA: Early detection of leaks and infiltrations in ponds using fiber optic technology", led by the Cluster for the efficient use of water (ZINNAE), with the participation of the EUPLA´s Research Group GIHA , Canteras de Ejea (Quarries of Ejea), Ingeniería de Obras Zaragoza (Public Works Engineering Zaragoza) (INGEOBRAS), TECNALIA and the Spanish Cluster of Pig Producers (i+Porc). The 7-month project (between 10/22 and 04/23) has a budget of 196,000 € of which 156,000 € will be funded by the Ministry of Industry.

Design of a macrophyte filter for the La Almunia wastewater treatment plant (Zaragoza)

During the fourth year of operation of the pilot plant built at La Almunia wastewater treatment plant for the development of the project, we have worked in the combination of different treatments (subsurface and flotation) and are currently analyzing the results.


On May 26, 2022, the cooperation project: "CHERRY FARM Production of high value cherry in vertical cultivation" was granted under the 2022 Rural Development Program for Aragon 2022- 2025,. The project involved the Association of Agricultural Entrepreneurs of the right bank of the Ebro (AEAMDE), Aragon´s Cluster of Agricultural Machinery , EUPLA´s GIHA group, TECNALIA, Frutas Viejo Serrano SL, Latorre Food Premium SL, the University of Zaragoza and Vivero Mariano Soria SL.


The GIHA group keeps collaborating in the project "FAVOUR (Flood hazard analysis considering vehicles and other floating elements in urban areas)" (2020-2023) funded by the State Research Agency of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. National R&D&I program for society's challenges. (Code: PID2019-110965RB-I00).

Modeling of the sewerage network of La Almunia de Doña Godina with Infoworks ICM software

Research project commissioned to the GIHA group by the company FACSA to evaluate the functioning of the drainage network of the town of La Almunia and the surface hydraulic hazard during heavy rainfall events.

Monitoring system to detect water leaks

The GIHA Group and TECNALIA Technology Center collaborate in the framework of the project "Monitoring system to detect water leaks" with a budget of 6000 €. The objective of the project is the collection, storage, processing and interpretation of data associated with the implementation of the Fiber Optic monitoring system at the Soto-Terroba dam.


The GIHA Group and the TECNALIA Technology Center have also collaborated in the ALARTE project "Remote long-term monitoring of critical infrastructure with key safety movement band tolerance in landslide vulnerable areas".

Agricultural training center in the region of Séguéré (Burkina Faso)

The project "Agricultural training center in the region of Séguéré (Burkina Faso)" keeps working and was awarded a grant for development cooperation projects and initiatives in the University of Zaragoza for 2022.

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