Noguera Pallaresa: Adventure sports and sustainability in its purest form

We travelled together with Odile Rodríguez de la Fuente, biologist and daughter of the great environmental educator, to discover the Noguera Pallaresa River, where Endesa regulates the flow and which is a key factor for tourism, hospitality, adventure sports and sustainability in the area. 

We could say that rivers are the veins of our planet. These natural streams of water give us life, it lives within them and it is also created around them. Until they flow out into the sea they are capable of generating clean energy and transforming the lives of all the people around them. This is witnessed by the inhabitants of the Pallars Sobirà region (Lleida).

The white water of the Noguera Pallaresa River, a tributary of the Segre, doe not only provide a habitat for a number of species, it also attracts both nature lovers and sports and adrenaline enthusiasts. From where it rises in the Catalan Pyrenees, its route covers 154 kilometres that are a treasure trove full of natural paradises like La Mollera d'Escalarre, at the foot of the Torrassa reservoir.

As Marc Garriga, Manager of the Alt Pirineu Nature Reserve, explained, "it is about everyone living together in harmony, this means humans and species of flora and fauna". This deep wetland from the ice age became very unique after the construction of the reservoir in the 1950s.  In fact, it is a meeting point for lovers of ornithological tourism and it is one of the best known areas to practise catch and release trout fishing.

“It is about everyone living together in harmony, this means humans and species of flora and fauna”.

– Marc Garriga, Manager of the Alt Pirineu Nature Reserve.

Water activities in the river Noguera Pallaresa.

Adventure sports and sustainability in the Catalan Pyrenees

Features like inclines, the river rapids, accessibility from the main road and the navigability of the descents, make the Noguera Pallaresa the perfect place to enjoy water sports. Rafting is the most popular, but you can also practise other activities like kayaking, riverboarding and canoeing.

Raimon Monterde works for Roc-Roi, a company that organises adventure activities in this natural environment.  He is aware of all that the river brings to his region:  "Regardless of whether or not we continue to do rafting or any other activity, we still have to take the river into account, because the future of the generations to come depends on it," he said.

“Regardless of whether or not we continue to do rafting or any other activity, we still have to take the river into account, because the future of the generations to come depends on it”.

– Raimon Monterde, Manager of Río Vertical de Roc-Roi.

The river has always been the driving force for the region. Everything has developed around it. "The Noguera Pallaresa has been the backbone and sustenance for the economy since 1700, but there are risks even for a mighty river, and that is why it needs to be taken care of", Carles Isús Castellarnau, Chairman of the Pallars Sobirà Regional Council, pointed out. That is why Endesa has accepted the responsibility for regulating the flow of the river to ensure that sports competitions can be undertaken correctly. 

Entorno del río Noguera Pallaresal, Pirineo Catalán.

For 21 years we have had an official agreement with the Pallars Sobirà Regional Council that has enabled the Noguera Pallaresa to become a European benchmark for the practice of sports activities. "We produce a calendar and present it to Endesa. Taking into account the current state of the rivers and the environmental conditions, they adapt the flow of the river to our specific needs", explained Carles Isús. 

“Taking into account the current state of the rivers, Endesa adapts the flow of the river to our specific needs”.

– Carles Isús, Chairman of the Pallars Sobirà Regional Council.

This project is very beneficial for the territory, supporting sport, benefiting tourism and hospitality and, above all, promoting sustainability. There are a number of hydroelectric plants in the area and the agreement enables us to operate securely, safely and sustainably. These power stations enable us to make water management circular. At the same time, we also take responsibility for regulating the water level of the Torrasa Reservoir so that it remains stable throughout the year. And what is extremely important is that 99% of the water we use in our installations is re-used, for example, for irrigation.

Sustainability is one of the main pillars of our company and water, a strategic resource that is under threat by climate change. Endesa will continue to work on the comprehensive management of water to preserve and take care of this vital resource.

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