Research projects

ESR 2: Multi-level water allocation and governance in the Segura River Basin

Early Stage Researcher: Javier Rodríguez Ros 
Host institution: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France
Principal supervisor: Prof. François Molle
Co-supervisor: Prof. Dave Huitema
Non-academic co-supervisor: Dr. Nuria Fernández Mora


"My research will procure a new look on river basin organizations and multilevel governance to adapt to drought and conditions of water scarcity".

Topic

Many river basins worldwide are under stress and undergoing 'closure'. Spain's southeastern basins are notorious for the overexploitation of both surface and groundwater resources, a situation that generates competition over resources, environmental degradation and ever-tighter socio-ecological interconnectedness between users, and between societies and the environment. Such complexity poses sheer challenges to a multi-level governance system that associates, among others, the basin Confederación, nested public administrations, water user groups, private sector companies, environmental and other NGOs. This study will examine the technical and political dimensions of water allocation in conditions of scarcity, detailing how and what solutions are proposed, financed, implemented, and managed to respond to water challenges in the Segura River Basin. This basin is specific in that it receives a large share of its supply through the interbasin transfer of River Tagus waters. It will link with and inform wider studies and frameworks on river basin and multilevel governance and river basin development. 

This research project will:

  1. Illustrate socio-ecological relationships on a long time scale;

  2. Unpack the technical and institutional responses to structural water scarcity, in particular through an examination of past Basin Plans and Drought-Management Plans;

  3. Contribute to thinking on the role, diversity of and need for River Basin Organizations (RBOs);

  4. Contribute to the understanding of multi-level water governance;

  5. Evidence how cross-scale hydrologic interactions are magnified by basin closure by linking two local case-studies with basin-level management.

Expected results:

  1. A fresh look at and assessment of the Spanish type of RBO (Confederaciones);
  2. A critical discussion of the mono/polycentric divide and theoretical advance;
  3. An assessment of the technical and institutional adjustments to cope with water scarcity in terms of efficiency and equity.
  4. An understanding of how farming systems and water institutions at different scales co-evolve with society's values and politics.

About Javier Rodríguez Ros

Javier is a Ph.D. candidate in the Group of Water Management, Actors, and Uses (G-EAU) at the Institute of Research for the Development (IRD). Throughout his career, he has worked and collaborated with different NGOs and research centers in Latin America and Africa exploring water governance and its impacts on society and ecosystems. In his research, he will examine the shifting policies and strategies that determine how and what solutions are proposed, financed, implemented, and managed to respond to water challenges in the Segura and the Tagus River Basins in Spain. This research links with and informs wider studies and frameworks on river basin and multilevel governance, and on the political ecology of river basin development.  You can read more about his professional experiences on his website www.waterstories.es.

LinkedIn profile:  Javier Rodríguez Ros

Personal website: www.waterstories.es

Contact

Javier Rodríguez Ros
NEWAVE Early Stage Researcher, Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Research for the Development (IRD), France
Website: www.en.ird.fr

Prof. François Molle
Directeur de Recherche Institute of Research for the Development (IRD), France
Website: www.en.ird.fr

Prof. dr. Dave Huitema
Professor of Environmental Policy, Institute for Environmental Studies,
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Website: www.ivm.vu.nl

Dr. Nuria Hernández-Mora
Water policy, Independent researcher and consultant
Fundacion Nueva Cultura del Agua (FNCA), Spain
Website: www.fnca.eu/en