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La sequía 2005-2008 en la cuenca del Ebro: Vulnerabilidad, impactos y medidas de gestión

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  • Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua

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The work presents a comprehensive evaluation of the economic impacts of the 2005-2008 drought in the Ebro river basin, Spain. It also looks at the management of the drought period, the measures put in place, and the resulting vulnerability to droughts of the system.
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... A pesar del carácter prioritario de los abastecimientos, no existió una estimación completa del coste de los impactos en este sector. Los usos lúdicos y recreativos (turismo activo, navegación, pesca, esquí) tampoco fueron valorados de forma sistemática (Hernández-Mora et al, 2013). ...
... Fuente: Hernández-Mora et al. 2013 Este hecho no es de extrañar si tenemos en cuenta que los usuarios participan en el diseño y aprobación de los regímenes de explotación de los embalses a través de la Comisión de Desembalse y las Juntas de Explotación y que la representación social en estos órganos está limitada a usuarios económicos del agua, en proporción directa al volumen de uso. Algunos usuarios, como la acuicultura, tienen una representación simbólica, mientras que los usuarios lúdicos y recreativos, así como los intereses ambientales, no están representados. ...
... Algunos usuarios, como la acuicultura, tienen una representación simbólica, mientras que los usuarios lúdicos y recreativos, así como los intereses ambientales, no están representados. La Comisión Permanente de Sequías, órgano ejecutivo creado en cumplimiento de los Reales Decretos de Sequía, incluye a representantes de las administraciones autonómica y estatal, usuarios concesionales y, con voz pero sin voto, otros intereses (Hernández-Mora et al. 2013). ...
... crop insurance and damage compensation schemes. Moreover, this study is aimed at providing an overview of the whole process of response to drought rather than the evaluation of specific measures, which is also scarce in the literature (Hernández-Mora, Gil, Garrido, & rodriguez-Casado, 2013;Lackstrom et al., 2013). Thus, the analysis focused on the balance of measure categories in each particular case study, as the presence or absence of a given type of measure gives insights into the strategy followed to address drought. ...
... In the future, it would be advisable to ensure a more even distribution of funds among the affected sectors and to foster staff continuity in the agencies responsible for drought management, so that the human capital created during a given drought can also be available in those that follow. Moreover, data on the economic impacts of drought and the cost-benefit ratio of measures should be systematically analyzed (Garrido & rey, 2014;Gopalakrishnan, 2013;Hernández-Mora et al., 2013). ...
... The assessment revealed that in the case-study areas there is a poor tradition of ex-post evaluation of drought management and responses (Garrido & rey, 2014;Hernández-Mora et al., 2013), though post-drought evaluation is the last and crucial step towards full development of a national drought policy (Wilhite et al., 2014). The most advanced in this field are JU and NL, where an official evaluation was undertaken after the last drought. ...
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The improvement of future responses to drought requires evaluating past management practices. This article presents a methodology to assess drought management through the analysis of six key policy dimensions. It uses a qualitative approach that combines different sources of information, including both factual data and stakeholders’ perceptions. The assessment is based on a six-case study in Europe having different spatial scales and characteristics, to capture the context-specific nature of response to drought. The results of the assessment help analyze drought management from a risk-management perspective as well as to identify key policy gaps and recommendations.
... Analysis of the impacts of a recent drought event (2005)(2006)(2007)(2008) revealed that agriculture and food production are the main sectors affected by drought in the area, but impacts to hydropower production, water supply to villages, food industry, recreational activities and ecosystem functions were also identified (Perez y Perez and Barreiro-Hurlé, 2009;Hernández-Mora et al., 2013). 10 The Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro (CHE) is the organization responsible for the management, regulation and conservation of water in the Ebro basin. ...
... period2005(Hernández-Mora et al., 2013. It is composed of four management units (management units 12 to 15). ...
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The implementation of drought management plans contributes to reduce the wide range of adverse impacts caused by water shortage. A crucial element of the development of drought management plans is the selection of appropriate indicators and their associated thresholds to detect drought events and monitor their evolution. Drought indicators should be able to detect emerging drought processes that will lead to impacts with sufficient anticipation to allow measures to be undertaken effectively. However, in the selection of appropriate drought indicators the connection to the final impacts is often disregarded. This paper explores the utility of remotely sensed data sets to detect early stages of drought at the river basin scale, and how much time can be gained to inform operational land and water management practices. Six different remote sensing data sets with different spectral origin and measurement frequency are considered, complemented by a group of classical in situ hydrologic indicators. Their predictive power to detect past drought events is tested in the Ebro basin. Qualitative (binary information based on media records) and quantitative (crop yields) data of drought events and impacts spanning a period of 12 years are used as a benchmark in the analysis. Results show that early signs of drought impacts can be detected up to some 6 months before impacts are reported in newspapers, with the best correlation-anticipation relationships for the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI), the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Evapotranspiration (ET). Soil Moisture (SM) and Land Surface Temperature (LST) offer also good anticipation, but with weaker correlations, while Gross Primary Production (GPP) presents moderate positive correlations only for some of the rainfed areas. Although classical hydrological information from water levels and water flows provided better anticipation than remote sensing indicators in most of the areas, correlations were found to be weaker. The indicators show a consistent behaviour with respect to the different levels of crop yield in rainfed areas among the analysed years, with SPI, NDVI and ET providing again the stronger correlations. Overall, the results confirm remote sensing products’ ability to anticipate reported drought impacts and therefore appear as a useful source of information to support drought management decisions.
... The decoupling from production of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) aids have resulted in a reduction in the farms' income since 2004, as the sector is greatly dependent on aids (De Rancourt et al., 2006;Bernués and Olaizola, 2012). Finally, farmers are facing environmental challenges, such as more frequent and severe droughts (Turner, 2005;Hernández-Mora et al., 2012), wolf attacks and animal diseases outbreaks. ...
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What exactly is resilience and how can it be enhanced? Farming systems in Europe are rapidly evolving while at the same time being under threat, as seen by the disappearance of dozens of farms every day. Farming systems must become more resilient in response to growing economic, environmental, institutional, and social challenges facing Europe's agriculture. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for enhanced resilience has become even more apparent and continues to be an overarching guiding principle of EU policy making. Resilience challenges and strategies are framed within four main processes affecting decision making in agriculture: risk management, farm demographics, governance and agricultural practices. This empirical focus looks at very diverse contexts, with eleven case studies from Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden. This study will help determine the future and sustainability of European farming systems. This title is available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
... These costs represent between 0.05% and 0.1% of the gross domestic product, although costs could be exceptionally higher some years. Kirby et al. (2014) estimate at 1% of GDP the costs of the 2009 drought in Australia, and Hernández et al. (2013) estimate the cost of the 2005 drought in the Ebro basin (Spain) at 0.5% of GDP. ...
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Climate change intensifies water scarcity in arid and semi-arid regions where pressures on water resources are significant, further compromising the sustainability of water systems. Climate change triggers more frequent, longer and intense droughts that bring about serious challenges for management. Hydroeconomic analysis provides a modeling framework for policy design at basin scale, taking into consideration the spatial and temporal relationships between water sectors. In this study, an integrated hydroeconomic model of the Ebro basin is used to analyze the economic impacts of climate change under several water management alternatives. An innovative approach, the Copula procedure, is used to generate longer, and more intense and frequent drought events. Several policy scenarios are simulated by combining two water allocation rules, proportional share or water markets, with the possibility of investments in advanced irrigation systems. The sustainability of the Ebro water system is evaluated by looking at its reliability, resilience and vulnerability under each policy alternative. The risk assessment of the benefit losses informs on the water system exposure to extreme drought events, and the contribution of management options in reducing potential losses. The results highlight that climate change exacerbates the likelihood of substantial economic losses from droughts, which compromise the sustainability of the water system. Water markets and irrigation efficiency enhancements reduce uncertainty and losses from droughts, although there is a trade-off between irrigation benefits and damages to aquatic ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of this policy combination decreases for longer and intense droughts.
... Section 4 describes the main results of the mitigation and adaptation policies, and the drought impact in 1 Costs of drought damages have been estimated at $8 billion per year in the United States (NOAA, 2021), and around 9 billion € per year in the European Union (Cammalleri et al., 2020). Hernández et al. (2013) estimate the cost of the 2005 drought in the Ebro basin at 0.5% of GDP. The evidence during recent years indicates that the drought anomaly in Europe is unprecedented (Büntgen et al., 2021). ...
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Water scarcity and water quality degradation are major problems in many basins across the world, especially in arid and semiarid regions. The severe pressures on basins are the consequence of the intensification of food production systems and the unrelenting growth of population and income. Agriculture is a major factor in the depletion and degradation of water resources, and contributes to the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). Our study analyzes water allocation and agricultural pollution into watercourses and the atmosphere, with the purpose of identifying cost-effective policies for sustainable water management in the Ebro River Basin (Spain). The study develops an hydroeconomic model that integrates hydrological, economic and water quality aspects, capturing the main spatial and sectoral interactions in the basin. The model is used to analyze water scarcity and agricultural pollution under normal and droughts conditions, providing information for evaluating mitigation and adaptation policies. Results indicate that drought events increase nitrate concentration by up to 63% and decrease water availability by 42% at the mouth of Ebro River, highlighting the tradeoffs between water quantity and quality. All mitigation and adaptation policies reduce the effects of climate change, improving water quality and reducing GHGs' emissions, thus lowering environmental damages and enhancing social well-being. Manure fertilization and optimizing the use of synthetic fertilizers are important cost-effective policies increasing social benefits in a range between 50 and 160 million Euros. Results show that irrigation modernization increases the efficient use of nitrogen and water, augmenting social benefits by up to 90 million Euros, and enlarging stream flows at the river mouth. In contrast, manure treatment plants reduce private and social benefits even though they achieve the lowest nitrate concentrations. Our study provides insights on the synergies and tradeoffs between environmental and economic objectives. Another finding is that drought conditions decrease the effectiveness of policies, and increase the tradeoffs between water availability and nitrate pollution. The results contribute to the discussion of designing cost-effective policies for the abatement of agricultural polluting emissions into water and the atmosphere.
... Droughts have been increasing in the last years (Hernández-Mora et al., 2012;Turner, 2004). Droughts are an important driver for increasing feeding costs, especially for those farms highly dependent on the availability of pastures for feeding the herds. ...
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... The impacts of the multi-year drought of 2004-2008 in the Ebro basin have been widely studied. The northeastern part of the basin was the most impacted (Hernández-Mora et al., 2013) and agriculture was the most affected sector, with 540 million Euros of estimated losses to crop production during the hydrological year 2004-2005 and further losses of 272 million in related industries (Pérez y Pérez and Barreiro-Hurlé, 2009). ...
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