Barriers to water markets in agriculture. Analysis of Southern Spain stakeholder attitudes towards water markets
PublisherAssociazione Italiana di Economia Agraria e Applicata (AIEAA)
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In Europe, Spain has been the pioneer in establishing the water market. Although the growing interest in water markets over the last number of years, transactions of water exchanges in Southern Spain have been scarce. This research aims at exploring barriers which might be refraining irrigation community in participating in water markets. Research is carried out in the Guadalquivir river basin. Methodology is based on focus groups representing different stakeholders of irrigation community in this basin and in a simple questionnaire to obtain structured information about local perception of water markets. Results show that stakeholders think that water markets are good tools for water allocation. However, a number of barriers emerge in the context of water markets. Most of these are related to the farmer’s values, policy uncertainty, the access to water rights system, the types of existing infrastructure and, the legal and administrative aspects. It may seem obvious that water market participants care about non-monetary attributes of water trade. 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.