Analysis of alternatives to eliminate aquifer overdraft in the Guadalentín Valley, SE Spain

Javier Calatrava, Amanda Guillem, David Martínez-Granados

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the economic impact of alternative water management instruments that allow addressing the problem of non-renewable groundwater pumping in the aquifers of the Guadalentín Valley (southeast Spain). Their impact is assessed using a partial equilibrium mathematical programming model that maximises the farm net margin resulting from the use of the available water resources for irrigation in the area. Our results show that the buyback of groundwater pumping rights is the option with the greatest public budgetary cost and economic impact. On the contrary, the combination of an environmental tax on groundwater pumping and the substitution of groundwater by subsidised desalinised water allow eliminating aquifer overdraft in the area while minimising the public budgetary cost and the economic impact on the agricultural sector.

Keywords

Groundwater; Water economics; Water demand; Mathematical programming; Irrigation

Subject classification

Q25, C61.

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