WIT Press


Drought Response And Mitigation In Mediterranean Irrigation Agriculture

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/WRM090461

Volume

125

Pages

10

Page Range

515 - 524

Published

2009

Size

465 kb

Author(s)

A. do Ó & M. J. Roxo

Abstract

This paper identifies the most significant stakeholders involved in drought risk management at three irrigation perimeters, in the drought-prone southern Portuguese region of Alentejo. Key stakeholders were the target of tailored questionnaires and interviews, delivering their perception both of the natural drought hazard, of their exposure to risk, and of the plans and actions taken to mitigate it. Based on enquiries results and literature review, stakeholders were analysed and classified according to their role and legal framework. First, relationships between them were drafted and analyzed in flow charts, depicting their hierarchical dependencies, the circulation of information, and the direction of recommendations and decisions. Particular attention was paid to the process of implementing drought preparedness and mitigation actions. Secondly, all legal tools framing and regulating the irrigation activity were analysed, assessing its role in managing drought risk and temporary water scarcity. The irrigation framework previously defined was then put into perspective, and integrated in the context of water, agricultural, and land management policies, assessing their levels of time, space and economic integration and effectiveness. Preliminary results show that the process of implementing a new paradigm of water management, according to the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive, is underway. Nevertheless, the hydraulic paradigm that dominated water policies throughout the 20th century remains dominant at the local and regional level. This gap results on a deficient application of current water policies, poorly transposed into effective irrigation farming regulation. Keywords: drought response, Mediterranean irrigation, stakeholders’ perception, legal instruments, Alentejo.

Keywords

drought response, Mediterranean irrigation, stakeholders’ perception, legal instruments, Alentejo