“The world’s water problems are due to bad governance, not to physical water scarcity”

"The world's water problems are due to bad governance, not to physical water scarcity"

(Water, Agriculture and the Environment in Spain: can we square the circle?
Editors: Lucia De Stefano & M. Ramón Llamas, Water Observatory of the Botín Foundation; Complutense University of Madrid, Spain (CRC Press, 2013))

This book is inspired by this statement and explores whether it holds in a specific country, Spain, where climatic conditions - Spain is one of the most arid countries of the European Union - would fully justify the ascription of water problems to physical water scarcity. The metrification of water uses and their monetary value is a first important step in understanding how reallocation of water among users could help mitigate many current water problems in Spain. However, such reallocation among users or from users to nature is far from simple. Initiatives heralded as the solution to the water governance problem - e.g. water trade, improved water use efficiency, users' collective action, public participation - are not without difficulties or shortcomings. The book explores the growing need for maintaining Spain's natural capital and the human component of water governance - people's needs, wishes, (vested) interests, aspirations - that often determine the outcome of decisions and, sometimes, lead water management to a deadlock. This book takes a step forward
in painting a more complex - and ultimately more realistic - picture of water governance in Spain.
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