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Balancing water needs among multiple users in a drought-prone coastal wetland


The Doñana region is a coastal wetland in the Guadalquivir River Basin District of Southern Spain, where water is shared among the natural and the artificial wetlands. The recent high temperature and drought episodes are influencing the view of local communities about the need for adaptation in the Doñana natural ecosystems and agricultural systems. The region is already under environmental pressure with high coastal vulnerability to sea level rise, and the potential increase of irrigation demand is very high. Further, the water competition and conflicts will be increased due to a major pressure on freshwater resources as a result of climate change impacts, increased population, pollution problems from agriculture intensification, and fragmented and uncoordinated adaptation policy strategies. There is a need of reaching a balance among equity, economic security and the environment by flexible adaptation options that may deal with the increasing pressure on freshwater resources, and in turn reduce the conflict among users in the case study region.

This report explores flexible adaptation options to climate change in the Doñana wetlands from two points of view: 1) What are the policy options for agricultural water management in view of climate change? 2) How can informed stakeholders contribute to better adaptation? The first question is addressed by simulating water availability to farmers with the WAAPA model (Garrote et al., 2014) under a range of adaptation policy options derived from the view of the local communities. The second question was addressed by means of participatory research. Adaptation options are framed according to the local environmental, social and policy context.

Reference information

EU FP-7 project BASE – Bottom-Up Climate Adaptation Strategies towards a Sustainable Europe

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jul 22 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Feb 04 2023

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