Water Resources Allocation and Agriculture: Transitioning from Open to Regulated Access
The book brings together a range of leading scholars and practitioners to compile an international account of water allocation policies supporting a transition to sustainable water use in regions where agriculture is the dominant water use. In Section 1, the collection canvasses five key cross-cutting issues shaping the challenge of sustainable water allocation policy, such as legal and economic perspectives, the role of politics, the setting of environmental flows, and the importance of indigenous rights. Section 2 presents 13 national, state and transboundary case studies of water allocation policy, covering cases from Europe, the Americas, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific region. These case studies highlight novel and innovative elements of water allocation regimes, which respond to the cross-cutting issues addressed in Section 1, as well as local challenges and social and environmental imperatives. The book provides a comprehensive account of water allocation in a range of international settings and provides a reference point for practitioners and scholars worldwide wishing to draw on the latest advances on how to design and implement sustainable water allocation systems.
ISBN: 9781789062779 (print)
ISBN: 9781789062786 (eBook)
ISBN: 9781789062793 (ePUB)
Chapter 8: Water allocation in Spain. Legal framework, instruments and emerging debates
Carles Sanchis-Ibor, Manuel Pulido-Velazquez, Juan Valero de Palma, Marta García-Mollá, 2022. "Water allocation in Spain. Legal framework, instruments and emerging debates", Water Resources Allocation and Agriculture: Transitioning from Open to Regulated Access, Josselin Rouillard, Christina Babbitt, Edward Challies, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo
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Spain has a tradition of water management and allocation based on a dual model of water rights, where surface water is public, but groundwater has historically been considered a private resource. The Water Law (1985) created a new concessional system for the assignment of water rights to users of both resources, controlled by the State, but preserving the historical rights. Water allocation, in practice, is determined by the resources and demands that are estimated in the water planning documents. Therefore, water allocation is granted by River Basin Authorities and depends on water availability, social and environmental priorities, and the system operating rules. It is an institutional model of water allocation, under State control, but partially open to participation and negotiation with users. The main weakness of the Spanish water allocation model derives from the application, during the 20th century, of an excessively generous policy of water rights allocation and the lack of control of water uses. This policy has led to the overallocation of water rights and groundwater overexploitation in some basins, generating structural deficits, dramatic environmental impacts and significant social and territorial tensions. This context, which hinders the implementation of environmental flows, has required the design of different programmes and plans to control water uses, and the introduction of new legal instruments to stimulate water rights temporal exchanges.