The impact of institutional change on ownership rights in irrigated agriculture

Dionisio Ortiz Miranda, Felisa Ceña Delgado


The Spanish water economy is within a process of institutional change. The development of this change will be strongly conditioned by the water property rights structure, and this structure –in the context of irrigated agriculture- is defined by a complex net of informal institutions and farmers’ perceptions. The objective of the article is to characterise these property rights –through previous desegregation of its content- in the context of Irrigation Districts of the Guadalquivir basin, in order to analyse how the new institutions could be performed in this environment. Results, based in both the analysis of formal institutions and farmers’ opinion, show (i) the lack of adaptation of new institutions to farmers’ demands, and (ii) some characteristics of the property rights structure which could hinder the institutional change.


Water Economy; property rights; institutional change

Subject classification

Q25, Q28.

Full Text:



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