Sticks and carrots: managing groundwater overabstraction in La Mancha, Spain
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Closas, Alvar; Molle, Francois; Hernandez-Mora, N. 2017. Sticks and carrots: managing groundwater overabstraction in La Mancha, Spain. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI).. 42p. (IWMI Working Paper 177) doi: 10.5337/2017.218
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/89523
External link to download this item: https://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/Publications/Working_Papers/working/wor177.pdf
This paper presents a historical analysis of the different policy tools used to manage and regulate groundwater abstraction in the Western Mancha aquifer. Without much initial regulation and control, groundwater resources and aquifer levels decreased dramatically, threatening agriculture and also highly valuable groundwater-dependent wetland ecosystems. The interplay between sticks and carrots used in La Mancha shows the necessity for regulatory bodies to complement soft management approaches based on incentives with the threat of sanctions and limitations. However, as this case study shows, each policy modality has its legal, administrative and practical loopholes, which can be negotiated and exploited by groundwater users to their own advantage. The paper also studies the distribution of decision-making power and how local dynamics and individual behaviors are linked to higher level policies and their impacts on groundwater management, with an emphasis on the effectiveness and limitations of these tools.
groundwater development; groundwater; groundwater; aquifers; ecosystems; water governance; water users; environmental management; water policy; socioeconomic development; water rates; legal aspects; river basins; regulations; decision making; incentives; resource depletion; water law; public participation
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