Groundwater intensive use and mining in south-eastern peninsular Spain: hydrogeological, economic and social aspects

Show simple item record Custodio Gimena, Emilio Andreu Rodes, José Miguel Aragón Rueda, Ramón Estrela, Teodoro Ferrer, Javier García Aróstegui, José Luis Manzano Arellano, Marisol Rodríguez Hernández, Luis Sahuquillo, Andrés Villar, Alberto del 2020-09-30T12:41:26Z 2020-09-30T12:41:26Z 2016-07-15
dc.identifier.citation Science of The Total Environment, 2016, v. 559, 302-316 es_ES
dc.identifier.issn 1879-1026
dc.description.abstract Intensive groundwater development is a common circumstance in semiarid and arid areas. Often abstraction exceeds recharge, thus continuously depleting reserves. There is groundwater mining when the recovery of aquifer reserves needs more than 50 years. The MASE project has been carried out to compile what is known about Spain and specifically about the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands. The objective was the synthetic analysis of available data on the hydrological, economic, managerial, social, and ethical aspects of groundwater mining. Since the mid-20th century, intensive use of groundwater in south-eastern Spain allowed extending and securing the areas with traditional surface water irrigation of cash crops and their extension to former dry lands, taking advantage of good soils and climate. This fostered a huge economic and social development. Intensive agriculture is a main activity, although tourism plays currently an increasing economic role in the coasts. Many aquifers are relatively high yielding small carbonate units where the total groundwater level drawdown may currently exceed 300 m. Groundwater storage depletion is estimated about 15 km3. This volume is close to the total contribution of the Tagus-Segura water transfer, but without large investments paid for with public funds. Seawater desalination complements urban supply and part of cash crop cultivation. Reclaimed urban waste water is used for irrigation. Groundwater mining produces benefits but associated to sometimes serious economic, administrative, legal and environmental problems. The use of an exhaustible vital resource raises ethical concerns. It cannot continue under the current legal conditions. A progressive change of water use paradigm is the way out, but this is not in the mind of most water managers and politicians. The positive and negative results observed in south-eastern Spain may help to analyse other areas under similar hydrogeological conditions in a less advanced stage of water use evolution. es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Universidad de Alicante, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Confederación Hidrográfica del Júcar, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Diputación de Alicante, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Universitat Politècnica de València, España es_ES
dc.description.sponsorship Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, España es_ES
dc.language.iso en es_ES
dc.publisher Elsevier es_ES
dc.relation Project MASE: Groundwater Mining in Spain es_ES
dc.rights Otro es_ES
dc.subject intensive exploitation es_ES
dc.subject groundwater mining es_ES
dc.subject reserve depletion es_ES
dc.subject hydrogeology es_ES
dc.subject socioeconomy es_ES
dc.subject south-eastern Spain es_ES
dc.subject governance es_ES
dc.title Groundwater intensive use and mining in south-eastern peninsular Spain: hydrogeological, economic and social aspects es_ES
dc.type Preprint es_ES
dc.relation.publisherversion es_ES
dc.description.funder Aqualogy es_ES
dc.description.funder CETaqua es_ES
dc.description.funder Departament d'Enginyeria Civil i Ambiental, Universitat Poliècnica de Catalunya es_ES
dc.identifier.doi es_ES
dc.coverage.spatialStudy España es_ES

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