Irrigated Agriculture in Spain: Diagnosis and Prescriptions for Improved Governance
The administrative framework as precipitated all the problems surrounding groundwater in Spain a situation worsened by the fact that it is an invisible resource for most of society. Groundwater is present in the rhetoric of administration officials and in the media, where it is often misrepresented because of numerous misconceptions. The scientific issues around groundwater, as well as its potential uses and problems, are poorly understood. This is evident from the fact that although groundwater comprises half of the continental water cycle, water control and protection measures neglect it in favour of the other half of the cycle, surface water. Moreover, the use of groundwater is undervalued. This chapter presents a model of groundwater management based on an analysis of the current state of groundwater use, its mismanagement and other problems. It outlines in the introduction the principal cause of groundwater mismanagement is the way in which exploitation of the resource has been legislated.