Spanish Jucar River Basin
case study

Introduction

The Júcar river basin is located in the Mediterranean basin of eastern Spain, the water resources system operates in a tight balance between water demand and availability.

The Júcar River is the main source of urban water supply for the city of Valencia and its metropolitan area (the third largest municipality in Spain). Water scarcity, irregular hydrology and over-exploitation of groundwater cause frequent and severe droughts with significant economic, social and environmental consequences. This situation is expected to be aggravated by the impact of (global) climatic and socio-economic changes and by increasing institutional obstacles resulting from political disputes between the two main riparian regions, Castilla-La Mancha (upper and middle basin) and Mancha (upper and middle basin) and Valencia (lower basin).

Context

The traditional way to tackle water scarcity issues in Spain, increasing available resources, is almost exhausted in the Jucar River basin and may refer to the use of non-conventional water resources, whose costs are beyond affordability for most users, in particular in the recent context of rising energy prices. Improved water governance schemes and economic instruments appear as promising alternatives to achieve sustainable water use and reconcile it with energy production and consumption, food production from agriculture and advancing towards the achievement of the WFD.

Main Characteristics:

  • Av surf resources: 1,605 Mm3/year
  • Urban demands: 190 Mm3/year
  • Agric Demands: 1,403 Mm3/year
  • Industrial demands: 32 Mm3/year
  • Hydropower capacity: 2,373 MW + 1,092 nuclear
  • Environ flows: 104 of 143 water bodies
  • Reservoir capacity: 2,627 Mm3

Contribution

Design economically and financially sustainable
cross-sectoral, multilevel Nexus-based water systems.

METHODOLOGY & EXPECTED RESULTS

Expected results

  • Innovative solutions for an efficient and sustainable coordinated governance of the WEFE Nexus
  • Climate-adjusted economic instruments and business models for water governance in the EU
  • Climate change scenarios, water economy models and adaptation measures for sustainable water governance

LOCAL WATER GOVERNANCE SYSTEMS ANALYSIS

  • Water planning is centralised by the CHJ with users having the possibility to make suggestions.
  • Water management is more collaborative performed by a commission (Comisión de Desembalse) that gathers representatives from CHJ, users and governments.

LOCAL INDICATORS USED FOR MONITORING WATER GOVERNANCE

– Existence and level of implementation of a water law.
– Existence of a central agency with water related responsabilities for policy making.
– Existence of mechanisms to review responsabilities
– Existence of integrated water resource management strategies andpolicies
– Existing of institutions for the management at the hydrographic

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT & PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ANALYSIS

Main Stakeholders

  • Jucar Water Users Union (USUJ)
  • Jucar River Basin Authority (CHJ)
  • Hydropower (Iberdrola)
  • Groundwater users (Mancha Oriental, Utiel-Requena)
  • Municipalities (Valencia, Albacete)
  • Regional governments (Comunitat Valenciana, Castilla – La Mancha)

Albufera

River bed Valencia