The water problems in Marina Baja district, located in the north of Alicante Province, southeast Spain, gives rise to very interesting practices in the management of this scarce resource. The key issue in water use both in the Júcar Catchment and in Marina Baja district is the growing demand for water in inland areas for intensive crop irrigation (principally fruit, medlars and citrus fruit) and the growth in demand for water for urban use, as well as for use in the tourist industry and its related services mainly in the towns in the coastal areas, due to strong growth in tourism. This trend of increasing demand has created a tense situation as well as conflict between existing water uses and the need for integrated water management in the area. This step implies that procedures for water exchange contracts have to be developed, that are significantly different from emerging water markets.

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