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Title: DROUGHT MANAGEMENT IN THE IBERIAN PENINSULA SHARED RIVER BASINS: DEVELOPMENTS AND PERSPECTIVES

Author: R. Maia

Year: 2009

Publisher: European Water Resources Association (EWRA)

Description:

In Europe, the 40 shared river basin districts represent more than 60% of the whole territory. In that context, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) strongly promotes the cooperation between the Member States sharing those river basin districts in order to develop a “River Basin Management Plan” (RBMP) and also ensure that ‘good status’ for all of Europe’s surface and groundwater within a 15- year period is achieved. This context applies to the Iberian Peninsula and is part of the frame of the management of drought situations and, namely, of the common implementation of drought management plans (DMP). In order of that, following a short description of the specificities of the Iberian Peninsula regarding water resources management and the active bilateral treaties and conventions, some insights on the efforts that have been developed by the two countries to reform their institutional, legislative and administrative water frameworks in order to comply with the WFD requirements will be presented. Also, some bilateral efforts and actions concerning some important interrelated water issues namely on the management of extreme events and on the establishment of an ecological river flow regime will be referred. This analysis will be presented having in mind the “Convention on Co-operation for Portuguese-Spanish River Basins Protection and Sustainable Use”, approved in 1998 that aims at embracing the sustainable development of all the shared river basins of the Iberian Peninsula. This Convention is of great importance in the current context as it introduces a basinbased water management and a decision-making process in compliance with the WFD, framed on coordinated River (sub-) Basin Management Plans. The last part of the work will be specifically dedicated to droughts management and planning in the Iberian Peninsula context. For that purpose, a characterization of the corresponding existing conditions and of the expected developments will be presented, trying to highlight not only the current still existing insufficiencies but also the perspectives regarding those issues in each country. This comparison will be further enlarged to the existing bilateral cooperation, promoting the application of the know-how and experience of each country on droughts management to the definition and implementation of a cohesive and thorough Iberian shared river basins system of indicators that was already contemplated in the Albufeira Convention, but that has not been created yet. The importance and impact of
climate change will also be referred in the context of the WFD.