Not Just Water

… also resource economics, policy analysis and why not, music!

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Water Management & Economics

Economic crisis is beating Spain severely and if one thing we must internalize for a better future is that public investments should be analyzed deeply in order to demonstrate its economic feasibility. Some may argue that not only economic reasons have to drive our future, but my point is that the economic assessment that I’m asking for can include also social or environmental costs and benefits that will improve our decision-making process. If we want to become a serious country we have to take reasonable and research-based decisions.

Talking about water management, Spain has traditionally based its water management policies on passionate feelings more than reason facts, and that led us to our particular water war taken on the first years of this 21st century. But we need to forget that sort of wars, and start a new period developing a framework to reduce the potential subjective decision-making that can be a venue for politics in order to kindle more fires. Researchers and professionals have a personal responsibility in this issue, and we have to take part in order to avoid decisions or behaviors that we know that are pernicious for our development.

European water framework directive set the cost recovery principle in our basic legislation but it is well known that in Spain most of irrigation modernization has been subsidized by public funds, and most of urban water prices does not compute financial or environmental costs. We have to start thinking in a new future where just feasible investments are sustainable and assessing correctly costs and benefits of investments reduces subjectivity of politic decisions, leading us to a more reliable and robust decision-process.