EMATSA has been in business for over 30 years, and has contributed significantly to the growth and development of Tarragona throughout its history.

EMATSA was created in 1983. This joint venture between the Tarragona Town Hall and the Urban and Rural Supply Company (SAUR) was founded with a capital of 60 million pesetas and a majority shareholding stake in the private entity which owned 75 percent of the shares. Their commitment was to turn it round to having a majority municipal shareholding within ten years. Ematsa is a central entity in the development of the city of Tarragona and its territory. It is an international leader in the management of basic environmental services.

With hindsight, the creation of Ematsa as a joint venture was seen to be a very risky formula at the time, due to prevailing historical events. The middle of 1977 was a very delicate moment for the city of Tarragona, due to the salinisation of the aquifers which worsened the quality of the drinking water supplied in the city. In 1984, freshwater was supplied to the fountains of the stairs of the Zamenhof Street headquarters. One year later, the Tarragona Water Consortium was created. In 1992 things changed and Aguas de Barcelona (Barcelona water company) absorbed Saur which became a Sorea subsidiary, the new partner of the City Council of Tarragona to Ematsa. During the nineties, Ematsa increased its presence in the Tarragona region, taking over the management of municipalities such as Els Pallaresos and El Catllar.

In 2002, Sorea acquired 9 percent of the share capital from the Tarragona Town Hall so that the majority shareholder stake remained at 51 percent with the council. Sorea kept 49 percent.

In its more than 30 years history, Ematsa has expanded its business and has become the leading company in services related to the integrated water cycle in the Tarragona region. Today, Ematsa serves a population of over 145,000 inhabitants. In high season we serve about 160,000 inhabitants (figures according to water consumption). Our challenge is and will continue to be to strive to consolidate the urban water cycle in the most sustainable way possible with minimal environmental impact and to supply water of the highest quality.

Brief history of the water supply in Tarragona
Temporal and geographic perspective of the water supply in the city of Tarragona.