Economic Issues in the Integrated Management of Water Resource Model (IWRM) and the Management Unit in a Territory Affected by Several Basins: The Case of the Spanish Southeast

Economic Issues in the Integrated Management of Water Resource Model (IWRM) and the Management Unit in a Territory Affected by Several Basins: The Case of the Spanish Southeast

Teresa Torregrosa Martin Sevilla

Applied Economy Department, University of Alicante, Spain

Available online: 
| Citation



The International Water Association bets in its integrated management of water resource model (IWRM) toolbox for a management unit that covers the watershed. However, this point is debatable as there are models of IWRM implementation at the infra-basin level, or even, as in the case we present with this work, when there are several basins that interfere with a particular territory. The problems as- sociated with the confluence of two or more basins in the same territory go through the difficulties in the management of the different resources and their allocation between different uses, especially when the resources are scarce to meet the total demands of water, which occurs in the areas of South-east Spain. Here, global demands are trying to articulate within two deficit basins (the Júcar and the Segura), with external contributions from the Tajo Basin (Tajo-Segura Transfer) and with non-conventional resources from the desalination of seawater. We will try to expose the state of the art at this time, and the alternatives that arise from an economic point of view. Attempts to solve this situation come from far away, even though on many occasions, the economic aspects have not been taken into account, giving rise to investment processes in infrastructures that, due to their costs and the refusal of the users to face them, have generated unstable equilibriums that different governments are incapable to solve.


IWRM, Spanish basins, water deficits, share management, scarce resources, water management


[1] UNESCO. Integrated Water Resources Management in Action. WWAP. Jointly prepared by DHI Water Policy and UNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment, Dialogue Papers, 2009

[2] López-Geta, J.A. & Murillo Díaz, J.M., Papel de los acuíferos en la gestión integral de los recursos hídricos. Instituto Tecnológico Geominero de España, Madrid, 2001

[3] Murillo, JM., López-Geta, J.A. & Hernández Bravo, J.A. Desarrollo sostenible, uso conjunto y gestión integral de recursos hídricos. Estudios y actuaciones realizadas en la provincia de Alicante. Departamento de Ciclo Hídrico de la Diputación de Alicante, e IGME, 2010

[4] Torregrosa, T., El modelo socioeconómico de gestión de los recursos hídricos en la Comarca de la Marina Baja (Alicante), un enfoque de Gestión Integrada de Recursos Hídricos. [The socioeconomic model for wáter management in Marina Baja District (Alicante), An approach for an Integrated Water Resources Management Model” Doctoral Thesis, Applied Economic Department, University of Alicante, 2008]

[5] ESYRCE (2017) Survey on surfaces and crop yields. Report on Irrigation in Spain. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Madrid. In Spanish: ESYRCE (2017) Encuesta sobre superficies y rendimientos de cultivos. Informe sobre Regadíos en España. Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Madrid.

[6] GWP, Spain: Segura River returned to its health. Case Study No.478, Developed for the Global Water Partnership Toolbox, 2016

[7] Torregrosa, T., La gestión del agua en la Marina Baja (Alicante) Temas de las Cortes Valencianas, 19. Ed, Cortes Valencianas, Valencia, 2009

[8] Artículo 1.3, Real Decreto 125/2007 de 2 de febrero, Royal Decree 125/2007, February 2nd by which the territorial scope of the Hydrographic Demarcations is settled.

[9] Ostrom, E., El gobierno de los bienes comunes: la evolución de las instituciones de acción colectiva. Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, 2000. Original Ostrom, E., Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press, 1990

[10] Fanlo Loras, A., Las competencias del Estado y el principio de unidad de gestión de cuenca a través de las Confederaciones Hidrográficas, Revista de Administración Pública, nº 183, Madrid. Sep-dic, pp. 309–334, 2010