Table of Contents

Federal Rivers

Federal Rivers

Managing Water in Multi-Layered Political Systems

Edited by Dustin E. Garrick, George R.M. Anderson, Daniel Connell and Jamie Pittock

This groundbreaking book provides a comparative perspective on water and federalism across multiple countries. Through a collection of case studies, this book explores the water management experiences and lessons learned in ten federal countries and China. The territorial division of power in federations, plus the interconnected politics at the national and regional levels, present a classic governance test for waters shared across multiple political jurisdictions. This is increasingly important as democratic transitions have introduced or invigorated federalism across diverse contexts affecting more than 300 major river basins, including over half of the world’s international rivers.

Chapter 9: River basin governance and water policies in Spain

José Albiac, Elena Calvo and Encarna Esteban

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, water, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


The chapter describes the water institutions and water policies in Spain. A distinctive feature of water management in the country is the key role of basin authorities, where stakeholders are involved in all management decisions. Water policies entail very large investments in water technologies to ensure water security, with different degrees of success in terms of human provision and ecosystem protection. The evolving interplay between the federal and state water governance levels is illustrated through the main water conflicts in recent years. This strong institutional and policy setting seems powerless to offset the worsening water scarcity and degradation in basins.

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