Sharing water in the international Tagus River basin: a geopolitical approach to explaining water governance issues in Spain

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17561/at.23.6965

Keywords:

Geopolitics, Tagus River, Spain, Water framework Directive, Albufeira Convention

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of different policies, political strategies and spatial conflicts on water issues in 21st century Spain, with an illustrating example about the management of the Tagus River. This international river basin, which is shared between Spain and Portugal, must meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, as all the river basins in the European Union do. The power granted to Spanish regions, their asymmetric economic development patterns, and the worsening droughts associated with climate change have created a water conflict. This paper shows, through the French geopolitical approach, how water policy in Spain has evolved these last decades and how water scarcity has become a geopolitical representation in certain territories. This study focuses on the territorial observation of power rivalries at different scales, providing new and complementary elements that can help understand water governance challenges in Spain in the years to come.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Aura y Larios de Medrano, A. M. 2008: La regulación internacional del agua dulce: Práctica española. Madrid (España), Thomson Aranzadi Reuters.

Berbel, J.; Expósito, A.; Gutiérrez-Martín, C.; Mateos, L. 2019: “Effects of the irrigation modernization in Spain 2002–2015”. Water Resources Management, 33(5), 1835–1849. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-019-02215-w

Candela, L.; Domingo, F.; Alarcón, J. J.; Berbel, J. 2008: “An overview of the main water conflicts in Spain: Proposals for problem-solving”. Options Méditerranéennes, A 83, 197–203.

Confederación Hidrográfica del Tajo (CHT) Magrama. 2013: Plan hidrológico de cuenca de la parte española de la demarcación hidrográfica del Tajo. Madrid.

Del Moral, L. 2001: “Planification hydrologique et politique territoriale en Espagne”. Hérodote, 3 (102), 87–112. https://doi.org/10.3917/her.102.0087

Estevan, A.; Naredo, J. M. 2004: Ideas y propuestas para una nueva política del agua en España. Vol. 12. Bilbao (España), Bakeaz / Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua.

Estrela Monreal, T.; Cabezas Calvo-Rubio, F.; Estrada Lorenzo, F. 1999: “La evaluación de los recursos hídricos en el Libro Blanco del Agua en España”. Ingeniería del agua, 6(2), 125–138. https://doi.org/10.4995/ia.1999.2781

European Commission, 2019: The EU Environmental Implementation Review 2019 Country Report: Spain. https://ec.europa.eu/environment/eir/pdf/report_es_en.pdf

Fornés, J. M.; López-Gunn, E.; Villarroya, F. 2021: “Water in Spain: paradigm changes in water policy”. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 66(7), 1113–1123. https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2021.1918697

François, M. 2006: “La pénurie d’eau en Espagne: un déficit physique ou socio-économique?”. Géocarrefour, 81(1), 25–35. https://doi.org/10.4000/geocarrefour.1730

Garrido, A.; Barreira, A.; Dinar, S.; Luque, E. 2010: La gestión de las cuencas hidrográficas compartidas entre España y Portugal en un horizonte de riesgos climáticos y mayores presiones ambientales. Madrid (España), Fundación del Canal de Isabel II.

Kibaroglu, A.; Scheumann, W. 2013: “Evolution of transboundary politics in the Euphrates-Tigris River system: new perspectives and political challenges”. Global Governance, 19, 279. https://doi.org/10.1163/19426720-01902008

Lacoste, Y. 1993: Dictionnaire de géopolitique. Paris (France), Flammarion.

Lacoste Y. 2010: L’eau dans le monde. Paris (France), Larousse.

Loyer, B. 2019: Géopolitique: Méthodes et concepts. Paris (France), Armand Colin.

Lorenzo-Lacruz J.; Morán T. E.; Vicente Serrano S. M.; López Moreno J. I. 2013: “Streamflow droughts in the Iberian Peninsula between 1945 and 2005: spatial and temporal patterns”. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 9 (7), 8063–8103. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-17-119-2013, 2013

Martínez, J.; Esteve, M. 2000: “El regadío en la cuenca del Segura y sus efectos ambientales y sociales”. Gestión alternativa del agua en la cuenca del Segura. Murcia (España), Ecologistas en acción región murciana, 53–71.

Martínez-Fernández, J.; Neto, S.; Hernández-Mora, N.; Moral Ituarte, L. D.; La Roca, F. 2020: “The role of the Water Framework Directive in the controversial transition of water policy paradigms in Spain and Portugal”. Water Alternatives, 13 (3), 1–26.

Melgarejo, J.; López-Ortiz, M. I. 2020: Externos: el valor socioeconómico del trasvase Tajo-Segura para la provincia de Alicante. Alicante (España), Universidad de Alicante, Diputación Provincial de Alicante.

Molina, A.; Melgarejo, J. 2016: “Water policy in Spain: seeking a balance between transfers, desalination and wastewater reuse”. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 32(5), 781–798. https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2015.1077103

Morote, Á. F.; Olcina, J.; Rico, A. M. 2017: “Challenges and proposals for socio-ecological sustainability of the Tagus–Segura aqueduct (Spain) under climate change”. Sustainability, 9(11), 2058. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112058

Rupérez-Moreno, C.; Senent-Aparicio, J.; Martínez-Vicente, D.; García-Aróstegui, J. L.; Calvo-Rubio, F. C.; Pérez-Sánchez, J. 2017: “Sustainability of irrigated agriculture with overexploited aquifers: The case of Segura basin (SE, Spain)”. Agricultural Water Management, 182, 67–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.12.008

Salinas Palacios, D. 2016: Géopolitique de l’eau dans l’Espagne des autonomies: enjeux et rivalités de pouvoirs pour la région de Murcie. Tesis doctoral. Saint-Denis (France), Université de Paris 8.

Salinas Palacios, D. 2019: "Espagne: géopolitique d’une agriculture assoiffée". Confluences Méditerranée, 1 (108), 59–71. https://doi.org/10.3917/come.108.0059

Swyngedouw, E. 1999: “Modernity and hybridity: nature, regenerationism, and the production of the Spanish waterscape, 1890–1930”. Annals of the association of American Geographers, 89(3), 443–465. https://doi.org/10.1111/0004-5608.00157

Published

2023-07-27

How to Cite

Salinas Palacios, D. (2023). Sharing water in the international Tagus River basin: a geopolitical approach to explaining water governance issues in Spain. Agua Y Territorio / Water and Landscape, (23), e6965. https://doi.org/10.17561/at.23.6965

Issue

Section

Miscellaneous