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OECD Releases Paper on Sustainable Water Use in Spain

2 February 2011: The Economics Department of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a working paper titled “Policies Towards a Sustainable Use of Water in Spain.”

The paper underscores that Spain has reached the upper limit on resource extraction, and that climate change will further lower the natural supply of water. It notes that the Government is conducting a detailed sectoral assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change with special attention to water resources, water demands and coping strategies with  the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change. While welcoming the shift in Spanish water governance towards reducing demand through efficiency gains, the paper recommends that the Government create a wider base of stakeholder participation to realize substantially higher efficiency gains, and increase the price for water. To reach this objective, the paper calls for: increasing use of market instruments for water use to help users understand and account for its scarcity in their use; and increasing monitoring of water utilities and over-exploited aquifers to help improve efficiency and reduce over extraction.  [Publication: Policies Towards a Sustainable Use of Water in Spain]