chapter  1
20 Pages

Introduction

WithM.R. Llamas, L. De Stefano, M. Aldaya, E. Custodio, A. Garrido, E. López-Gunn & B. Willaarts

The world’s water problems are due to bad governance, not to physical water scarcity. This book is inspired by this statement and explores whether it holds true in a specific country, Spain, where climatic conditions - Spain is one of the most arid countries of the European Union - could lead to the assumption that water problems are due to physical water scarcity. In order to do so, this book builds on Water Footprint and Virtual Water in Spain (Garrido et al., 2010), where the Water Observatory of the Botín Foundation focused on one of the pillars of good governance – accurate data and information – and estimated how much of the resource is available, how much is used, what for, and the extent of its economic productivity. The previous book provided an analysis of the water footprint of Spain and explored the role of trade in relation to the movement of virtual water – virtual water trade – in and out of the country. Some of its main conclusions are particularly significant due to their policy relevance and potential implications:

– 10% of the consumption of freshwater from rivers and aquifers produces around 90% of the economic value of Spanish irrigated agricultural production.