Archivo de la etiqueta: water

New publication: Water use in arid rural systems and the integration of water and agricultural policies in Europe: the case of Andarax river basin

In collaboration with Cristina Madrid (@Pladiona) we just published a paper on Environment, Development and Sustainability . It is part of a special issue titled “Pathways of rural change: An integrated assessment of the metabolic patterns of emerging ruralities” developed by the Rural Systems Analysis of the IASTE research group, Autonomous University of Barcelona. The issue sheds light on the current dynamics, policies and pathways of rural change, as well as on t he new ruralities that are emerging as responses across Asia, Latin America and Europe. For the general description of the aims,  methods and case studies overview please head to the opening editorial.

Unfortunatelly, I couldn’t get funding for an open source version but here the preprint version download from ResearchGate.

Our contribution aims to be the first of three empirical papers of my PhD. I introduce my case study in the Andarax river basin (Almería) and make an analysis of the two main policies shapping water use pattern in it: agriculture and water management, downscaling from the European to the regional levels. It is also the first application of the water metabolism analytical framework to this end at river basin scale.


Water is a precious resource in arid rural areas with irrigated agriculture. Nonetheless, water and agricultural policies in Europe show different management scopes and objectives, usually translated in divergent drivers of rural change. This paper has a double aim: to propose a specific method for quantitative biophysical analysis of water use in rural systems with the multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism approach and to show the usefulness of this method for the assessment of the integration of water and agricultural policies. The river basin scale is chosen, since it is the socioecological unit for water management established in the water framework directive 2000/60/CE. A multi-scale water use accounting is provided for a Mediterranean river basin in Andalusia, integrating water cycle, ecosystems and social levels. Particularly focusing on agricultural production, a relevant set of indicators is proposed in order to analyze and compare different metabolic patterns. Finally, the integration of water and agricultural planning is assessed in terms of external (biophysical) and internal (economic, institutional) constraints of the new water-use patterns generated by the scenarios posed in these policies. While on a European level water policy is ambitious in terms of ecological conservation, the lack of integration within the common agricultural policy and the entanglement of multiple scales of political and economic organization of local ruralities blur its priority in a rather slow transition to a new water culture.