Zaragoza, Spain
Zaragoza, Spain

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Kahil M.T.,CITA Government of Aragon | Dinar A.,University of California at Riverside | Albiac J.,CITA Government of Aragon
Water Resources and Economics | Year: 2016

Climate change impacts and the growing concern on environmental water demand are further increasing competition for scarce water resources in many arid and semiarid regions worldwide. Under these circumstances, new water allocation mechanisms based on the involvement of stakeholders are needed, for an efficient and fair allocation of water and income among users. This paper develops a cooperative game theory framework in order to analyze water management policies that could address scarcity and drought in a typical arid and semiarid basin in Southeastern Spain. The results provide clear evidence that achieving cooperation reduces drought damage costs. However, cooperation may have to be regulated by public agencies, such as a basin authority, when scarcity is very high, in order to protect ecosystems and maintain economic benefits. The cooperative game theory solutions and stability indexes examined in this paper demonstrate the importance of incorporating the strategic behavior of water stakeholders in the design of acceptable and stable basin-wide drought mitigation policies. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..

Esteban E.,CITA Government of Aragon | Albiac J.,University of California at Riverside
Ecological Economics | Year: 2011

Gisser and Sánchez (1980a) state the conditions under which welfare gains from policy intervention are negligible in aquifer management, when compared with non-regulation or "free market" outcomes. This is the so-called Gisser-Sánchez effect (GSE), which has been supported by the ensuing literature during recent decades. The GSE requires a number of assumptions, among which is the disregard for aquatic ecosystems linked and dependent on aquifer systems. The depletion of aquifer systems in arid and semiarid regions worldwide is causing acute water scarcity and quality degradation, and leading to extensive ecosystem damages. This study shows that by including environmental damages into the analytical model, results can change substantially. The analysis highlights both theoretically and empirically the importance of policies in groundwater management, as well as the potential role for stakeholders' cooperation. The empirical application deals with two large aquifers in Spain, the Western La Mancha aquifer which is grossly mismanaged, and the Eastern La Mancha aquifer, which is moving towards sustainable management. Western and Eastern La Mancha aquifers illustrate that policies and institutions are essential to avoid the current global aquifer mismanagement. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Kahil M.T.,CITA Government of Aragon | Dinar A.,University of California at Riverside | Albiac J.,CITA Government of Aragon
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2015

Growing water extractions combined with emerging demands for environment protection increase competition for scarce water resources worldwide, especially in arid and semiarid regions. In those regions, climate change is projected to exacerbate water scarcity and increase the recurrence and intensity of droughts. These circumstances call for methodologies that can support the design of sustainable water management. This paper presents a hydro-economic model that links a reduced form hydrological component, with economic and environmental components. The model is applied to an arid and semiarid basin in Southeastern Spain to analyze the effects of droughts and to assess alternative adaptation policies. Results indicate that drought events have large impacts on social welfare, with the main adjustments sustained by irrigation and the environment. The water market policy seems to be a suitable option to overcome the negative economic effects of droughts, although the environmental effects may weaken its advantages for society. The environmental water market policy, where water is acquired for the environment, is an appealing policy to reap the private benefits of markets while protecting ecosystems. The current water management approach in Spain, based on stakeholders' cooperation, achieves almost the same economic outcomes and better environmental outcomes compared to a pure water market. These findings call for a reconsideration of the current management in arid and semiarid basins around the world. The paper illustrates the potential of hydro-economic modeling for integrating the multiple dimensions of water resources, becoming a valuable tool in the advancement of sustainable water management policies. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Kahil M.T.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Ward F.A.,New Mexico State University | Albiac J.,CITA Government of Aragon | Eggleston J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Sanz D.,University of Castilla - La Mancha
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2016

Policymakers in arid and semiarid basins face hard choices on water policies needed for adaptation to climate change. Hydro-economic modeling is a state-of-the art approach that can be used to guide the design and implementation of these policies in basins. A major gap in developments of hydro-economic modeling to date has been the weak integration of physically-based representations of water sources and uses such as the interaction between ground and surface water resources, to inform complex basin scale policy choices. This paper presents an integrated hydro-economic modeling framework to address this gap with application to an important and complex river basin in Spain, the Jucar basin, for the assessment of a range of climate change scenarios and policy choices. Results indicate that in absence of adequate policies protecting water resources and natural ecosystems, water users will strategically deplete reservoirs, aquifers and river flows for short-term adaptation to climate change, disregarding the impacts on the environment and future human activities. These impacts can be addressed by implementing sustainable management policies. However, these policies could have disproportionate costs for some stakeholders groups, and their opposition may undermine attempts at sustainable policy. These tradeoffs among water policy choices are important guides to the design of policies aimed at basin-wide adaptation to climate change. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Kahil M.T.,CITA Government of Aragon | Connor J.D.,CSIRO | Albiac J.,CITA Government of Aragon
Ecological Economics | Year: 2015

This paper evaluates economic and environmental effects of two incentive-based water management policies to address climate change impacts on irrigated agriculture: water markets and irrigation subsidies. A Southern European case study assesses farmers' long and short-run adaptation responses under climate change and policy interventions with a discrete stochastic programming model. Results indicate that climate change will likely have negative impacts on irrigation activities and water-dependent ecosystems in Southern Europe. However, the severity of impacts depends on government policy settings and farmers' adaptation responses. The comparison between water market and irrigation subsidy policies shows the advantages of water markets over irrigation subsidies in terms of both private and social benefits. These findings could guide policymakers on the design of efficient water institutions and policies to address climate change in the irrigated agriculture of Southern Europe. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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