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Integration of hydrological and economic approaches to water and land management in Mediterranean climates: an initial case study in agriculture

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  • Bielsa, Jorge
  • Cazcarro, Ignacio
  • Sancho, Yolanda

Abstract

A distinction is commonly drawn in Hydrology between ‘green’ and ‘blue water’ in accounting for total water availability in semi-arid regions. The criterion underlying this classification is important for successful water management, because it reveals how much natural water is and/or could be used by households, industry and, especially, agriculture. The relative share of green and blue water is generally treated as a constant. In recent years, a growing hydro-geological literature has focused on a phenomenon that significantly affects the stability of the green/blue water ratio. This is the increase in land cover density and its impact on runoff in regions with a Mediterranean climate, such as the Ebro Basin in Spain. We seek to carry this knowledge over into the parameters of disciplines concerned with the economic valuation of water and territorial resources, and translate it into the language used by water management professionals in the expectation that this contribution will improve the way we assess and account for real water availability. The heart of the matter is that the increasing density of forest cover produces both positive and negative environmental and economic impacts, presenting new economic and environmental problems that must be examined and assessed in a hydrological-economic context. We will show that these positive and negative effects are sufficiently important to merit attention, whether they are measured in physical or economic terms. Finally, we make an initial proposal for the economic valuation of some of the effects produced by these hydrological changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36445.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published in Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 9.4(2011): pp. 1076-1088
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36445

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Keywords: blue water; green water; hydro-economic framework; water resources accounting;

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References

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  1. I. Heinz & M. Pulido-Velazquez & J. Lund & J. Andreu, 2007. "Hydro-economic Modeling in River Basin Management: Implications and Applications for the European Water Framework Directive," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 21(7), pages 1103-1125, July.
  2. Lubowski, Ruben & Plantinga, Andrew & Stavins, Robert, 2005. "Land-Use Change and Carbon Sinks: Econometric Estimation of the Carbon Sequestration Supply Function," Working Paper Series rwp05-001, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. repec:reg:wpaper:225 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Lorite, I.J. & Mateos, L. & Orgaz, F. & Fereres, E., 2007. "Assessing deficit irrigation strategies at the level of an irrigation district," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-3), pages 51-60, July.
  5. Novo, P. & Garrido, A. & Varela-Ortega, C., 2009. "Are virtual water "flows" in Spanish grain trade consistent with relative water scarcity?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1454-1464, March.
  6. Rosegrant, M.W. & Ringler, C. & McKinney, D.C. & Cai, X. & Keller, A. & Donoso, G., 2000. "Integrated economic-hydrologic water modeling at the basin scale: the Maipo river basin," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 24(1), December.
  7. Riera, Pere & Mogas, Joan, 2004. "Evaluation of a risk reduction in forest fires in a Mediterranean region," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 521-528, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Duarte, Rosa & Pinilla, Vicente & Serrano, Ana, 2014. "The effect of globalisation on water consumption: A case study of the Spanish virtual water trade, 1849–1935," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 96-105.
  2. Sánchez-Chóliz, J. & Sarasa, C., 2013. "Análisis de los recursos hídricos de Riegos del Alto Aragón (Huesca) en la primera década del siglo XXI," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 13(1).

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