Speaker: Ariel Dinar, University of California


Title: Assessing Cooperative Arrangements for Water Sharing and Ecosystem Protection under Scarcity and Drought: The Case of the Jucar River Basin, Spain.
Authors: Mohamed Taher Kahil, Ariel Dinar, Jose Albiac


Water scarcity is worsening worldwide, becoming a widespread problem in many arid and semiarid regions such as Southern Europe or the whole Mediterranean basin. Climate change is projected to further exacerbate water scarcity problems by reducing water availability and increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme drought events. Emerging social demands for environmental protection of water-dependent ecosystems further increase competition for already scarce water in arid and semiarid regions, especially during dry years. Under these circumstances, the efficient and fair allocation of water among users is becoming a major challenge for water authorities. New water allocation mechanisms based on the involvement of stakeholders are needed. This paper develops a game theory framework in order to analyze cooperative water management policies that could address scarcity and drought in the Jucar River Basin in Spain. The paper empirically tests the propensity of stakeholders to cooperate and the options for protecting ecosystems in arid and semiarid basins under various climate scenarios. The results provide clear evidence that achieving cooperation could reduce significantly drought damage costs. However, cooperation may have to be encouraged by public agencies, such as the basin authority, when scarcity is very high, in order to protect ecosystems and increase economic benefits. The game theory solutions and stability indexes examined in this paper are very useful in analyzing the acceptability and stability of cooperative arrangements, and could be helpful to initiate a bargaining process aimed at reaching an agreement to share water resources in a river basin.

Link to paper

Link to working paper

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