Person: De Stefano, Lucia
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Geodinámica, Estratigrafía y Paleontología
Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
PublicationLearning from experience: a systematic review of assessments of vulnerability to drought(Springer, 2016-01) González Tánago, Itziar; Urquijo, Julia; Blauhut, Veit; Villarroya Gil, Fermín; De Stefano, LuciaIn the last decades, there have been an increasing number of vulnerability studies undertaken in the frameworks of several schools of thought and disciplines. This spur of activity is linked to the growing awareness about the importance of shifting from a crisis-reactive approach to a proactive and preventive risk-management approach to deal with natural disasters. The severity of the impacts that drought provokes worldwide has also contributed to raise awareness about the need to improve its management. In this context, drought vulnerability assessments are the first step in the identification of underlying causes that generate drought impacts. This paper presents a systematic review of past assessments of vulnerability to drought, to enhance the understanding of vulnerability and help orientating future research in this field. Results suggest that there are important geographical and thematic gaps to be filled in the assessment of drought vulnerability. Transparency in the design and validation of results should be improved, while the availability of relevant, reliable, and updated data is still a major constraint at all levels. PublicationWater planning and management after the EU Water Framework Directive(CRC Press, 2012) De Stefano, Lucia; Hernandez-Mora, Nuria; De Stefano, Lucia; Llamas, RamónThis chapter provides an overview of the different legal, administrative and economic factors that provide the institutional context for water management in Spain, focusing on the effects of the 2000 European Water Framework Directive (WFD). At present and partially due to the WFD implementation process, the Spanish water sector is experiencing a slow transition from old to new water paradigms. Highlights in this sense are the consideration of the achievement of ecological quality as a primary planning and management objective; an increase in public participation and transparency in water-related decision processes; the economic analysis of water services; and an increased emphasis on water demand management. The achievement of the WFD objectives faces several challenges and uncertainties that are of technical, financial and political nature. However, possibly the key to a successful implementation of the WFD and a real shift of paradigm lays in strengthening the link between land use and water management and in creating institutional structures that facilitate co-responsibility and full cooperation between the central state and the regions, who hold most of the responsibilities on land use management. 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. PublicationEasier Said Than Done? The Establishment of Baseline Groundwater Conditions for the Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Spain(European Water Resources Association (EWRA) / Springer, 2013) De Stefano, Lucia; Martínez-Santos, Pedro; Villarroya, Fermín; Chico, Daniel; Martínez-Cortina, LuisThe European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires EU countries to achieve good status of all their waters by 2015. This should be achieved through the implementation of river basin management plans (RBMPs), which in turn are based on water resources baseline data. While it is too soon to assess the WFD effectiveness, the lanning process has contributed to identify possible pitfalls of the WFD design and has provided an opportunity to enhance the knowledge of European water resources. Groundwater plays a strategic role in Spain’s economy and also in the maintenance of its aquatic ecosystems, making that country an excellent testing ground for getting an insight into the definition of baseline groundwater under the WFD mandate. This paper presents the results of compiling the information produced for the RBMPs to attain an overall picture at a national scale. In doing so, it examines some of the methodological and technical choices involved in the definition of a baseline for groundwater, assessing their practical consequences on groundwater management. This paper argues that having baseline figures for the RBMPs required compromises or shortcuts to be taken. Undoubtedly, the process leading to the first WFD Plans has been an extremely enriching learning process, but it leaves questions unanswered. The periodic (6 year) RBMP revision should become an opportunity to revisit and better tune the baseline conditions established during this first planning cycle. 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 PublicationPerception of Drought and Local Responses by Farmers: A Perspective from the Jucar River Basin, Spain(Springer, 2016-01) Urquijo, Julia; De Stefano, LuciaFarmers play a key role in water management at all levels and their role becomes even more relevant during droughts, when water systems are under increased pressure. This paper presents a study based on interviews to farmers in eastern Spain using different types of water sources, to explore how that factor influences perceptions and actions during droughts. Results show that farmers often perceive droughts through non-climatic factors, e.g. the volume of water stored in the reservoirs or water restrictions, rather than through meteorological parameters. The type of water source highly influences farmers' perception of drought and the type of strategies implemented to face it, confirming the key role of groundwater in buffering brought. In areas using surface water, practices to mitigate impacts include temporary changes in cropping practices, temporary modification of water distribution shifts or the use of emergency wells. In areas irrigated with different water sources – groundwater, reclaimed water – farmers' actions address mainly permanent water scarcity problems and their concerns are focused on the long term viability of their activity – in terms of cost of water or water quality – rather than on variability of rainfall. Both in surface and groundwater-based irrigation areas, local responses often require close cooperation among users, as they may involve redistributing the available resources, sharing extra costs, or combining water from different sources to achieve the desired water quality. PublicationPublic Participation and Water Management in the European Union: Experiences and Lessons Learned(Oregon State University Press, 2012) De Stefano, Lucia; Schmidt, Guido; Cosens, Barbara PublicationInternational Initiatives for Water Policy Assessment: A Review(Springer, 2010) De Stefano, LuciaThe recent international agreement to implement principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as a means to overcome the current world water crisis has brought about the need to measure countries’ progress towards a new way of managing water. Several governmental and nongovernmental international organizations have taken up this challenge using different methods. This paper analyzes the methodological approaches currently applied to comparative water policy assessment, points out advantages and drawbacks of the different types of initiatives, and looks at where this relatively young field of research is heading.The technical and topical constraints of existing numerical indicators, the lack of consolidated qualitative assessments and the difficulty to measure real water policy implementation are among the main challenges to be addressed in the near future in the context of water policy assessment PublicationClimate change and the institutional resilience of international river basins(SAGE Publications, 2012-01) De Stefano, Lucia; Duncan, James; Dinar, Shlomi; Stahl, Kerstin; Strzepek, Kenneth M.; Wolf, Aaron T.In the existing 276 international river basins, the increase in water variability projected by most climate change scenarios may present serious challenges to riparian states. This research maps the institutional resilience to water variability in transboundary basins and combines it with both historic and projected variability regimes, with the objective of identifying areas at potential risk of future hydropolitical tension. To do so, it combs existing international treaties for sources of institutional resilience and considers the coefficient of variation of runoff as a measure of past and future water variability. The study finds significant gaps in both the number of people and area covered by institutional stipulations to deal with variability in South America and Asia. At present, high potential risk for hydropolitical tensions associated with water variability is identified in 24 transboundary basins and seems to be concentrated mainly in northern and sub-Saharan Africa. By 2050, areas at greatest potential risk are more spatially dispersed and can be found in 61 international basins, and some of the potentially large impacts of climate change are projected to occur away from those areas currently under scrutiny. Understanding when and where to target capacity-building in transboundary river basins for greater resilience to change is critical. This study represents a step toward facilitating these efforts and informing further qualitative and quantitative research into the relationship between climate change, hydrological variability regimes, and institutional capacity for accommodating variability.