Browsing by Author "López-Gunn, Elena"
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PublicationPublic participation and transparency in water management(CRC Press, 2012-10) De Stefano, Lucia; Hernandez-Mora, Nuria; López-Gunn, Elena; Willaarts, Bárbara A.; Zorrilla-Miras, Pedro; De Stefano, Lucia; Llamas Madurga, RamónPublic participation is considered broadly to have a positive impact on the quality of governance. Transparency is the first step in the public participation ladder since it implies that people have access to the necessary information to make informed contributions to decision-making. This chapter gives an overview of the main challenges for the Spanish water sector in terms of public participation in the water planning process of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), and presents results of an assessment of the information transparency of the Spanish water authorities. Although the WFD has contributed to improving the situation, in Spain the tradition of public accessibility to data and public participation in water management decisions is still rather poor. In addition to making all relevant information publicly available, the most compelling challenge is possibly ensuring its reliability and consistency. Another key issue is making the information accessible to different target audiences by adapting it to their level of interest and technical capacity PublicationThe concept of water and food security in Spain(CRC Press, 2012-10-15) López-Gunn, Elena; Willaarts, Bárbara A.; Dumont, Aurélien; Niemeyer, Insa; Martínez Santos, PedroWater and food security are tags used widely yet hiding very different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. This chapter looks at what these concepts mean for Spain and across scale linkages due to globalisation. Since food production and access is largely guaranteed in Spain, food security here is linked to the idea of guarantying food safety and food health. As in other European countries, there has been a substantial shift in the dietary habits of Spanish consumers with changes to the recommended Mediterranean diet, with higher meat and processed food consumption, and a drop by half in the intake of cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. This chapter argues that dietary shifts have increased the water footprint of an average Spanish diet by 8%, which has been possible thanks the imports of green virtual water from third countries, without compromising Spain’s water security. The chapter also reflects on the different dimensions of water security in Spain, and whether some aspects of water security (like protection from hazards or water availability) have been secured others represent important – sometimes contradictory – challenges like securing water for food or the environment. These links can be understood when framed by a global system with feedbacks between food production and consumption, impacting on agricultural production and water resources, food supply capacities, and environmental security. PublicationThe role of ethics in water and food security: Balancing utilitarian and intangible values(World Water Council, 2012-03) López-Gunn, Elena; De Stefano, Lucia; Llamas, RamónIn the past two decades, the world has experienced deep changes in terms of globalization of goods and people, the emergence of new economic powers, political turmoil, and a sustained growth of an increasingly urban global population. These and other factors have deep implications for global water and food security, and make discussion of ethical values – often implicit in global debates – more pertinent. An understanding of the ethical issues underlying water and food security is key to formulating solutions that truly contribute to their achievement. This is particularly true when considering that water and food security is strongly intertwined with human security and environmental security, and these cannot be addressed separately. This paper argues that solving water and food problems is not only a technical challenge but also a problem of fundamental ethical values and political will. It showcases three technological advances (desalination, information technology, and modern groundwater abstraction technology) and one concept (virtual water) that could contribute to secure water and food for a growing population, thus shedding light on the lack of concerted political will to face global and water food securities. In this context, trade has the potential to help countries manage water security in a globalized world, provided that global trade is revisited and undergoes a process of deep reform in the light of ethical considerations. Water and food are not isolated from general socio-economic and political trends. Therefore the drivers resulting in the present economic crisis also affect water and food, and add further complexity to the search for solutions. PublicationThe Role of Large and Small Scale Hydropower for Energy and Water Security in the Spanish Duero Basin(MDPI, 2017-10-06) Mayor, Beatriz; Villarroya, Fermín; Montero González, Esperanza; Rodríguez Muñoz, Ignacio; López-Gunn, ElenaHydropower has been increasingly seen as a two-fold solution to the provision of renewable energy and water storage. However, the massive deployment of both large and small scale hydropower projects has been reported to cause important environmental impacts at the basin scale. This study assesses the differential contributions to regional energy and water security of large (LHP) and small (SHP) scale hydropower deployment in the Spanish Duero basin, as well as associated cumulative environmental impacts. This is performed through a selection of indicators measured in absolute and relative terms. The results suggest that LHP deployment contributes more to energy and water security, performing better in 10 of the 12 indicators. It also shows higher absolute environmental impacts on flow regime and habitat loss. Meanwhile, when analyzed in relative terms, SHP shows greater impacts in all categories as a result of cumulative effects cascading along the rivers system. These findings suggest that optimizing the use of existing hydropower infrastructure would be beneficial for energy, water and environmental security. This could be implemented by substantially reducing the number of low capacity plants with almost no impact on final energy generation, while enhancing the pumping and storage potential of higher capacity plants. PublicationUnauthorized groundwater use: institutional, social and ethical considerations(World Water Council, 2012-03) De Stefano, Lucia; López-Gunn, ElenaIn many areas of the world, particularly in arid regions or in areas experiencing population growth, there is increased competition over scarce water resources. This is likely to increase in the future due to continued population growth, urban expansion and the challenge of the impact of climate change on water resource availability. In this context, groundwater is likely to play a pivotal role in facing water scarcity. When different users share a common-pool resource, basic rules are usually established to manage access to the resource and ensure balance between demand and supply. Water authorities worldwide are increasingly paying added attention towards regulating the use of groundwater because of its strategic value, e.g. in times of drought or as a natural reserve. In the case of groundwater, although regulatory measures exist, they are often difficult to enforce. This paper explores the situation with a discussion of two aspects: first (and in line with this special issue on water ethics), an examination of the fundamental individual values that underpin behavior in relation to water use, and second, an investigation of the typologies of unauthorized water use, its main potential impacts, potential root causes and reflections on imperfect institutions and social norms. PublicationWater in Spain: paradigm changes in water policy(Taylor & Francis) Fornés, Juan María; López-Gunn, Elena; Villarroya, FermínThis paper discusses the gradual eclipse of a water management paradigm governed by the dominance of hydropower and irrigation-driven development. With the advent of new values, the former approach has given way to an acknowledgement of the value of water for its intangible contribution to the landscape, among other things. The European Water Framework Directive has lent further impetus to changes in water management and governance. Future water authorities and stakeholders will face additional management challenges such as growing water scarcity, climate change and the predominant role of regional governments in water use negotiation and decision-making.