A study compares how water is managed in Spain, California and Australia

Science Codex –

Turning on the faucet and having water come out has become such a common daily occurrence that nobody stops to think about it. In times of abundance, everything goes smoothly. However, when rain is scarce or almost inexistent and reservoir capacity diminishes considerably, that is when alarm bells are set off and governments scramble trying to find a solution. As they say, you don’t know what you´ve got until it’s gone.

A research project at the University of Cordoba analyzed and compared legislative changes in water management that occurred in Spain, California and the Murray Darling Basin in Australia over the last few years. The study demonstrated the following: big legislative reforms in water management in these three areas have always come about as a consequence of important droughts.

Though these three regions have similar climates, agriculture and water scarcity problems, the truth is that the way they deal with them is quite different. In many cases, above all on a technical level, they coincide. “In all three zones they use recycled, desalinated water and drip irrigation. However, the institutional and legal framework differs,” clarifies Julio Berbel, Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Cordoba and lead author of the study.

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