In this article we show that the legal measures for protection of aquifers are not enough to lessen the pumping if the users are not associated and determined to have a rational distribution of water.

The expansive agriculture on the North side of Isla Cristina (Huelva, Spain), based on citrus and strawberry growing, uses high volumes of groundwater that comes from a tertiary age detritic coastal aquifer with a significant lack of resources. This causes a decrease of the residual flow to the sea, deep pumpcones, and an inversion of the hydraulic gradient, which initiates the progressive salinization of the aquifer northwards, in the sense that the fresh-salt water mixture zone is moving.

The problem is worsening because the number of uncontrolled pump-works in the areais increasing. This problem could be alleviated if a Users Community for the whole aquifer were created, itself to watch over the fulfilment of the legal requirements and to regulate the water extractions.

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