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Do drought management plans reduce drought risk? A risk assessment model for a Mediterranean river basin


  • Gómez Gómez, Carlos Mario
  • Pérez Blanco, Carlos Dionisio


Groundwater resources are traditionally overexploited in arid and drought-prone regions with profitable irrigated agriculture, and the depletion of this groundwater results from a combination of the physical scarcity of surface sources and the lack of effective control of use rights on the part of water authorities. This is the case in the Segura River Basin of southern Spain. As a result, drought risks and structural deficits have steadily increased over the last 50years. The Drought Management Plan recently approved by the Segura River Basin Authority aims to enforce more stringent water supply restrictions from surface sources, but the plan does not include any explicit policy to handle illegal groundwater abstraction. By using a stochastic risk assessment model, this paper shows that the implementation of the drought plan will increase the expected irrigation deficits of surface water and can, paradoxically, lead to higher drought and aquifer depletion risks than the traditional rules that the new plan replaces.

Suggested Citation

  • Gómez Gómez, Carlos Mario & Pérez Blanco, Carlos Dionisio, 2012. "Do drought management plans reduce drought risk? A risk assessment model for a Mediterranean river basin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 42-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:76:y:2012:i:c:p:42-48
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.01.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vernon W. Ruttan, 2002. "Productivity Growth in World Agriculture: Sources and Constraints," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 161-184, Fall.
    2. Raffensperger, John F., 2011. "Matching users' rights to available groundwater," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1041-1050, April.
    3. Martin, Steven W. & Barnett, Barry J. & Coble, Keith H., 2001. "Developing And Pricing Precipitation Insurance," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(01), July.
    4. Perrings, Charles, 1989. "An optimal path to extinction? : Poverty and resource degradation in the open agrarian economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-24, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hansen, Zeynep K. & Lowe, Scott E. & Xu, Wenchao, 2014. "Long-term impacts of major water storage facilities on agriculture and the natural environment: Evidence from Idaho (U.S.)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 106-118.


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