Balancing groundwater conservation and rural livelihoods under water and climate uncertainties: An integrated hydro-economic modeling framework

Varela Ortega, Consuelo; Blanco Gutiérrez, Irene; Swartz, Christopher H. y Downing, Thomas E. (2011). Balancing groundwater conservation and rural livelihoods under water and climate uncertainties: An integrated hydro-economic modeling framework. "Global Environmental Change", v. 21 (n. 2); pp. 604-619. ISSN 0959-3780. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.12.001.

Descripción

Título: Balancing groundwater conservation and rural livelihoods under water and climate uncertainties: An integrated hydro-economic modeling framework
Autor/es:
  • Varela Ortega, Consuelo
  • Blanco Gutiérrez, Irene
  • Swartz, Christopher H.
  • Downing, Thomas E.
Tipo de Documento: Artículo
Título de Revista/Publicación: Global Environmental Change
Fecha: Mayo 2011
Volumen: 21
Materias:
Escuela: E.T.S.I. Agrónomos (UPM) [antigua denominación]
Departamento: Economía y Ciencias Sociales Agrarias [hasta 2014]
Licencias Creative Commons: Reconocimiento - Sin obra derivada - No comercial

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Resumen

In arid countries worldwide, social conflicts between irrigation-based human development and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems are widespread and attract many public debates. This research focuses on the analysis of water and agricultural policies aimed at conserving groundwater resources and maintaining rurallivelihoods in a basin in Spain's central arid region. Intensive groundwater mining for irrigation has caused overexploitation of the basin's large aquifer, the degradation of reputed wetlands and has given rise to notable social conflicts over the years. With the aim of tackling the multifaceted socio-ecological interactions of complex water systems, the methodology used in this study consists in a novel integration into a common platform of an economic optimization model and a hydrology model WEAP (Water Evaluation And Planning system). This robust tool is used to analyze the spatial and temporal effects of different water and agricultural policies under different climate scenarios. It permits the prediction of different climate and policy outcomes across farm types (water stress impacts and adaptation), at basin's level (aquifer recovery), and along the policies’ implementation horizon (short and long run). Results show that the region's current quota-based water policies may contribute to reduce water consumption in the farms but will not be able to recover the aquifer and will inflict income losses to the rural communities. This situation would worsen in case of drought. Economies of scale and technology are evidenced as larger farms with cropping diversification and those equipped with modern irrigation will better adapt to water stress conditions. However, the long-term sustainability of the aquifer and the maintenance of rurallivelihoods will be attained only if additional policy measures are put in place such as the control of illegal abstractions and the establishing of a water bank. Within the policy domain, the research contributes to the new sustainable development strategy of the EU by concluding that, in water-scarce regions, effective integration of water and agricultural policies is essential for achieving the water protection objectives of the EU policies. Therefore, the design and enforcement of well-balanced region-specific polices is a major task faced by policy makers for achieving successful water management that will ensure nature protection and human development at tolerable social costs. From a methodological perspective, this research initiative contributes to better address hydrological questions as well as economic and social issues in complex water and human systems. Its integrated vision provides a valuable illustration to inform water policy and management decisions within contexts of water-related conflicts worldwide.

Más información

ID de Registro: 13635
Identificador DC: http://oa.upm.es/13635/
Identificador OAI: oai:oa.upm.es:13635
Identificador DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.12.001
Depositado por: Memoria Investigacion
Depositado el: 11 Oct 2012 10:39
Ultima Modificación: 21 Abr 2016 12:58
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