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Las instituciones horizontales de gestión colectiva del riego. El fracaso del Sindicato General de Riegos del Turia (1850-1883)


  • Carles Sanchis Ibor



The Spanish collective institutions for irrigation management have become a reiterated reference in the study of common pool resources. However, the success of Spanish irrigators in the local management of water contrasts with an important failure in the management of this common pool resource at the basin scale. During the second half of the ninetieth century, the water users’ associations of the large huertas (market gardens) of eastern Spain seek for the constitution of higher institutions to coordinate water management at the basin or sub-basin level. The aim of this institutional ambition, unsuccessful in this period, was to reduce the number and intensity of conflicts and to achieve a major level of water rights enforcement. This paper describes the case of the Sindicato General de Riegos del Turia, whose short experience (1850-1883) was conditioned by the firm opposition of water users’ from the upper and middle Turia, reluctant to join the institutional project. The design of the institution, previous to the model defined by the Water Law of 1866, was based in the transposition, to the basin level, of the successful principles used at the local management of irrigation. The paper focuses on the analysis of the principles of institutional design followed in the creation of the Sindicato, and explores the importance of the up-scaling processes in the development of nested institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Carles Sanchis Ibor, 2013. "Las instituciones horizontales de gestión colectiva del riego. El fracaso del Sindicato General de Riegos del Turia (1850-1883)," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1309, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1309

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun, 2001. "Common Property Institutions and Sustainable Governance of Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1649-1672, October.
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    More about this item


    irrigation; institutions; commons; water conflicts; nesting principle;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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