Implementing Integrated Water Resources Management in the Ebro River Basin: From Theory to Facts
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Sustainability 7(1) : 441-464 (2015)
In this article, we analyze how successful the implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Ebro river catchment (in Spain) has been. Our main aim is to show some gaps between theory and practice. This implies analyzing the political dimensions of governance and their change and reflecting on the interface between governance and technical knowledge about water. We highlight problems, such as the lack of institutional coordination, blind spots in technical information and path dependences. Actual water management has led to plans for further irrigation even though water availability is, and is expected to continue, shrinking due to climate change and other local factors. To overcome these mismatches, we propose further synchronization, innovative ways of public participation and knowledge sharing between institutions and researchers. As a showcase, we portray a practical real example of a desirable institutional arrangement in one sub-catchment.