The European Union has co-financed a project that removes existing nitrates from the groundwater that drains into the lagoon, contributing to reduce the nutrients that reach the Mar Menor. From an industrial perspective, the removal of nitrates and the recycling and reuse of all groundwater are addressed. This project will reduce the arrival of nitrates to the saltwater lagoon.

The brine from the desalination of groundwater has a multitude of dissolved salts that, when properly separated, can be reused, also allowing the generation of additional water resources. The LIFE-DESIROWS project aims to recycle the brine by first removing nitrates, recovering part of the less soluble salts for later use as fertilizers, and allowing the rest of the salts to be used for industrial purposes. At the same time that the salts are concentrated, up to 98% of the desalinated water is recovered, when at present yields below 75% are achieved. The whole process is carried out using renewable energies obtained by combining photovoltaic solar energy and that generated by biomass.

The project started in September 2020 and will run until the end of 2023, with a budget of over 1.6 million euros, of which 867,000 euros have funding from the European Union.

The project consortium is made up of the Technical University of Cartagena, the Arco Sur Irrigation Community and companies from the Murcia Region with experience in this type of project, such as Hidrogea and Hidrotec.