Assessing Water Shortage through a Balance Model among Transfers, Groundwater, Desalination, Wastewater Reuse, and Water Demands (SE Spain)

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Title: Assessing Water Shortage through a Balance Model among Transfers, Groundwater, Desalination, Wastewater Reuse, and Water Demands (SE Spain)
Authors: Jódar-Abellán, Antonio | Fernández-Aracil, Patricia | Melgarejo, Joaquín
Research Group/s: Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental (IngHA) | Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible | Historia e Instituciones Económicas (HIE)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario del Agua y las Ciencias Ambientales | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Análisis Económico Aplicado
Keywords: Integrated water management | Water shortage | Conceptual model | Desalinated and reused waters | Southeast Spain
Knowledge Area: Física de la Tierra | Historia e Instituciones Económicas
Issue Date: 14-May-2019
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Jodar-Abellan A, Fernández-Aracil P, Melgarejo-Moreno J. Assessing Water Shortage through a Balance Model among Transfers, Groundwater, Desalination, Wastewater Reuse, and Water Demands (SE Spain). Water. 2019; 11(5):1009. doi:10.3390/w11051009
Abstract: Currently, water demands are increasing notoriously, spreading the pressure on available water resources around the world in both quantity and quality. Similarly, the expected reduction of natural water inputs, due to climate change, depicts a new level of uncertainty. Specifically, Southeast Spain presents water scarcity due to its aridity—irregular and scarce precipitation and high evapotranspiration rates—combined with the competition between several water demands: environment, agricultural dynamics, urban-tourist activities, and industry. The study area of this work is the most relevant functional urban area of Alicante province (SE Spain), where the administration of water management is carried out by a range of authorities at different levels as the consequence of a complex historical development of water governance schemes: at the national, regional, and local levels. This study analyzes 21 municipalities and proposes a conceptual model which was developed by including different origins of water inputs—surface resources, groundwater, desalination, wastewater reuse, or interbasin transfers—and water demands with information obtained from 16 different sources. Our main results denote a relevant water deficit of 72.6 hm3/year even when one of the greatest rates of desalinated water and reused wastewater in Europe are identified here. This negative balance entails restrictions in urban development and agricultural growth. Thus, presented results are noteworthy for the water policy makers and planning authorities, by balancing the demand for water among various end users and providing a way for understanding water distribution in a context of scarcity and increasing demand, which will become one of the most challenging tasks in the 21st century.
Sponsor: This research was funded partially by the project Life Empore (grant number: Life15 ENV/ES/000598) coordinated by the University Institute of Water and Environmental Sciences of the University of Alicante and by the project Asesoramiento y Asistencia Científico-Técnica en la elaboración del Plan de Acción Territorial de Alicante y Elche (grant number: UTECERCLEJORNET1-18ª) coordinated by the UTE Cercle & Jornet Llop Pastor companies and the University of Alicante. Antonio Jodar-Abellan acknowledges financial support received from the Spanish FPU scholarship for the training of university teachers. In the same way, this work has been conducted within the Cátedra del Agua of the University of Alicante (https://catedradelaguaua.org/).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/91837
ISSN: 2073-4441
DOI: 10.3390/w11051009
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051009
Appears in Collections:INV - Historia e Instituciones Económicas - Artículos de Revistas
INV - IngHA - Artículos de Revistas
INV - Recursos Hídricos y Desarrollo Sostenible - Artículos de Revistas

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