WIT Press

Drought Risk Management In Transboundary River Basins: A Mediterranean Feasibility Assessment


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

55 - 65




502 kb


A. Do Ó


This paper proposes a methodology to assess the potential and constraints for an effective drought risk reduction in Mediterranean transboundary river basins. Shared river basins of the Iberian Peninsula, and particularly the Guadiana, are of major interest for Mediterranean Europe, because of its significant dimension, aridity, water scarcity, and drought risk. The assessment is driven by a SWOT analysis conducted on each country’s drought management policy, based on 24 criteria grouped into four major categories: Institutional Cooperation, Environmental Protection, Social and Economic Dimensions, and Planning System. Secondly, ten key decision-makers were interviewed in both countries, allowing to: i) validate the preliminary SWOT analysis; ii) identify competences to be shared for mutual benefice (winwin situations); iii) define the best scale to implement such competences; and iv) identify risks associated to transboundary competences, thus setting a business model framework to be used on a joint process of river basin planning. General results show that the Portuguese situation is quite fragile when compared to Spain’s, because of its downstream position, weaker social, economic and negotiating capacity, and poorer governance conditions. On the other hand, Spain faces greater internal challenges, due to an excessive irrigation demand, and increasing political power fragmentation. Interviews point to a \“depoliticised” transboundary model of river basin management, mostly restricted to technical competences, and identify several risks related to the implementation of such competences at the transboundary level – namely loss of


drought risk, river basin, planning, transboundary, Portugal, Spain, Guadiana, Mediterranean