WIT Press

Drought Response And Mitigation In Mediterranean Irrigation Agriculture


Free (open access)





Page Range

515 - 524




465 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. do Ó & M. J. Roxo


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.


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