Blanco Gutiérrez, Irene and Varela Ortega, Consuelo and Purkey, David R.
Integrated economic-hydrologic analysis of policy responses.
In: "2011 International Congress European Association of Agricultural Economists", 30/08/2011 - 02/09/2011, Zurich, Dinamarca. pp. 1-15.
Water is a vital resource, but also a critical limiting factor for economic and social development in many parts of the world. The recent rapid growth in human population and water use for social and economic development is increasing the pressure on water resources and the environment, as well as leading to growing conflicts among competing water use sectors (agriculture, urban, tourism, industry) and regions (Gleick et al., 2009; World Bank, 2006). In Spain, as in many other arid and semi-arid regions affected by drought and wide climate variability, irrigated agriculture is responsible for most consumptive water use and plays an important role in sustaining rural livelihoods (Varela-Ortega, 2007). Historically, the evolution of irrigation has been based on publicly-funded irrigation development plans that promoted economic growth and improved the socio-economic conditions of rural farmers in agrarian Spain, but increased environmental damage and led to excessive and inefficient exploitation of water resources (Garrido and Llamas, 2010; Varela-Ortega et al., 2010). Currently, water policies in Spain focus on rehabilitating and improving the efficiency of irrigation systems, and are moving from technocratic towards integrated water management strategies driven by the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD).