Juan G. R. Water in Spain requires more state control.
Water and Irrigation, Volume 1, Nº 1: 1-2, 2010,Spain.
The water problem in Spain requires to achieve greater state control of all surface and ground water resources, which will expedite solutions that satisfy the technical and economic interests of the nation; to be built: new waterworks, water transfers, desalination plants, agricultural and urban drainage systems, water supply, sewage and to perform a better management of available water resources and wastewater; that be increase investment, research and development work.
In the period from 2000 to 2009 in Spain, there have been stages of severe drought in the ravages of it have caused losses of billions of euros and even increase crop losses due to the existing water shortage. However there are years when heavy rains cause floods and provoke losses in agricultural and urban areas, which show that we are not yet well trained in water management in the country.
Spain has a storage capacity of 54,308 hm3, but there are still many regions that require large volumes of water, so it is necessary to build more dams in size small, medium and large and build more transfer that lead water from areas with abundant water resources to other regions with few resources of water, establishing connections between a basin and between basins deficit.
Groundwater dry Spain are over-exploited and recovering slightly, dropping the dynamic level of the water table by more than 5 meters per year dry in areas subject to intensive demand, in many cases be necessary to pump water to over 100 meters deep, which indicates that we must establish a more rational exploitation of groundwater, more so in areas where there are high levels of salinity.
At present, heavy rains have caused major flooding in various regions of the country causing major economic losses, and have increased the average reserve of water in reservoirs by 60% which has enabled the needs of surface water this campaign and part of the other year, has also increased groundwater reserves, winning a battle does not indicate that we have won the water war, how we have to cope with future floods and drought periods if don’t take the measures required?. It is necessary to build more dams, desalination plants, regulatory works, water transfers, water conservancy, etc. aquifer recharge., Which are capable of regulating runoff in wet years to secure more water use in drought years, with the objective of reducing the ravages of drought and try to avoid the impetuous advance of desertification which affects more intensely the areas that have a large water deficit. Also important is the regulation of runoff in areas with flooding problems, so it is necessary to construct drainage works in urban and rural areas and should be rectified the rivers and to make protection against flooding
The water resources of the watershed surface and groundwater require efficient management and should therefore be made more precise the volume of water, the systematic monitoring of water quality of aquifers for irrigation and to evaluate the effect of saline intrusion and must take the necessary steps for the systematic control of aquifers in order to protect water resources and achieve a more rational use of water. The construction of hydraulic complex and transfers within the same basin and between basins will allow a wider use of runoff and therefore achieve greater assurance of water available. It is necessary to increase the number of specialists in different disciplines of water that would enable to take more agile, precise and economical decisions
I have spent over 30 years systematically to the problem of water, it management and economics studies, research and development in different countries and now that I’m in the water problem in Spain recommend strengthening state control in administrative infrastructure dedicated to water in order to be able to pool the resources and existing institutions and enable them to streamline decision making in the various activities dedicated to water development in the country with the possibility of creating a National Water Resources Institute with much more control and hierarchy on the surface and groundwater resources of the country, since water is an increasingly valuable resource and essential for the population, agriculture, tourism, industry, construction, power generation, combat desertification and an integral part and sustainable of the environment and thus as a decisive factor in the harmonious and sustainable development in Spain.
Should be limited autonomous control over water resources, as this creates a constant conflict in the regions water, prolong and complicate the decision for to make more rational use of water. The role of autonomy should be limited to managing water resources that have been allocated by the central government through the national institution dedicated to water. It is also necessary to create more institutions devoted primarily to conduct research and development related to water, energy saving, irrigation, drainage, the sustainability of basin and, reuse of wastewater, the control floods, desertification, salinization of soil and irrigated areas.