Analysis of Stakeholders’ Attitudes towards Water Markets in Southern Spain
Guadalquivir river basin
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This research examines stakeholders’ perceptions of and preferences for water markets in agriculture, focusing on the likely barriers that might refrain them from participating in such markets. The research was carried out on the Guadalquivir River Basin and involved semi-quantitative methods, combining a structured survey and focus group discussions. A very simple questionnaire was administered to each irrigation stakeholder (i.e., managers, water right holders and non-holders). The main result is that stakeholders will only keep selling water seasonally as the rights remain linked to the land. Nonetheless, some relevant differences among stakeholders were found. Managers seem to be more interested in selling water than farmers. Another important discrepancy was found between water rights holders and non-holders. Access to a water rights system, types of existing infrastructure, and legal and administrative aspects are also important factors influencing the acceptability of water trading in the study area. These results might be helpful to policymakers who are currently evaluating the potential for water markets in Europe and have little observable market data to work with.