Hydrogeology Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1549–1564 | Cite as

Can agricultural groundwater economies collapse? An inquiry into the pathways of four groundwater economies under threat

  • Olivier Petit
  • Marcel Kuper
  • Elena López-Gunn
  • Jean-Daniel Rinaudo
  • Ali Daoudi
  • Caroline Lejars
Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Groundwater-based agriculture in the Mediterranean

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the notion of collapse of agricultural groundwater economies using the adaptive-cycle analytical framework. This framework was applied to four case studies in southern Europe and North Africa to question and discuss the dynamics of agricultural groundwater economies. In two case studies (Saiss in Morocco and Clain basin in France), the imminent physical or socio-economic collapse was a major concern for stakeholders and the early signs of collapse led to re-organization of the groundwater economy. In the other two cases (Biskra in Algeria and Almeria in Spain), collapse was either not yet a concern or had been temporarily resolved through increased efficiency and access to additional water resources. This comparative analysis shows the importance of taking the early signs of collapse into account. These signs can be either related to resource depletion or to environmental and socio-economic impacts. Beyond these four case studies, the large number of groundwater economies under threat in (semi-)arid areas should present a warning regarding their possible collapse. Collapse can have severe and irreversible consequences in some cases, but it can also mean new opportunities and changes.

Keywords

Socio-economic aspects Groundwater economy Arid regions Agriculture Over-abstraction 

Les économies agricoles reposant sur l’eau souterraine peuvent-elles s’effondrer ? Une enquête sur les trajectoires de quatre économies basées sur l’eau souterraine menacées

Résumé

Le but de cet article est d’explorer la notion d’effondrement des économies agricoles reposant sur l’eau souterraine en utilisant le cadre d’analyse du cycle adaptatif. Ce cadre a été appliqué à quatre cas d’études en Europe du Sud et en Afrique du Nord pour questionner et discuter les dynamiques des économies agricoles reposant sur l’eau souterraine. Dans deux des études de cas (Le Saïss au Maroc et le bassin du Clain en France), l’effondrement imminent (qu’il soit physique ou socio-économique) était une préoccupation majeure pour les parties prenantes et les signes précoces d’effondrement ont conduit à la réorganisation de l’économie reposant sur l’eau souterraine. Dans les deux autres cas (Biskra en Algérie et Almeria en Espagne), l’effondrement n’était soit pas encore une préoccupation, soit il avait été résolu de manière temporaire grâce à une efficacité accrue ou grâce à un accès à des ressources en eau supplémentaires. Cette analyse comparative montre l’importance de la prise en compte des signes précoces d’effondrement. Ces signes peuvent être reliés à un épuisement de la ressource ou aux impacts socio-économiques. Au-delà de ces quatre études de cas, le grande nombre d’économies basées sur l’eau souterraine menacées dans les zones (semi-) arides pourrait constituer un avertissement quant à leur possible effondrement. Cet effondrement peut avoir des conséquences graves et irréversibles dans certains cas, mais il peut aussi représenter de nouvelles opportunités et changements.

¿Pueden colapsar las economías agrícolas a base de aguas subterráneas? Una investigación sobre las trayectorias bajo amenaza de cuatro economías de agua subterránea

Resumen

El objetivo de este trabajo es investigar la noción del colapso de las economías agrícolas de agua subterránea utilizando el marco analítico del ciclo adaptativo. Este marco se aplicó a cuatro estudios de caso en el sur de Europa y el norte de África para cuestionar y discutir la dinámica agrícola de las economías de agua subterránea En dos estudios de caso (en el Saiss en Marruecos y en la cuenca de Clain en Francia), el inminente colapso físico o socioeconómico fue una importante preocupación para las partes interesadas y unos primeros signos de colapso llevaron a la reorganización de la economía del agua subterránea. En los otros dos casos (el de Biskra en Argelia y el de Almería en España), el colapso no era una preocupación todavía o se había resuelto temporalmente a través de un aumento de la eficiencia y al acceso de recursos hídricos adicionales. Este análisis comparativo muestra la importancia de tener en cuenta los primeros signos del posible colapso. Estos signos pueden estar relacionados con el agotamiento del recurso o con los impactos ambientales y socioeconómicos. Más allá de estos cuatro estudios de caso, el gran número de economías de agua subterráneas amenazadas en las zonas (semi-) áridas debería presentar una advertencia sobre su posible colapso. El colapso puede tener consecuencias graves e irreversibles en algunos casos, pero también puede significar nuevas oportunidades y cambios.

农业地下水经济体能崩溃吗?处于威胁之下的四种地下水经济途径探究

摘要

本文的目的就是利用适用性—循环分析框架调查农业地下水经济体崩溃的概念。把这个框架应用到欧洲南部和非洲北部四个研究实例中探寻和论述农业地下水经济体的动力学。在其中两个案例(摩洛哥的Saiss和法国的Clain 盆地),利益相关者主要关心的就是即将来临的物理上和社会经济上的崩溃,崩溃的早期标志导致了地下水经济体的重组。在另外两个案例中(阿尔及利亚的Biskra和西班牙的Almeria),崩溃要么还没有受到关注,要么通过提高效率及获取额外的水源暂时得到解决。这个比较分析显示了考虑崩溃早期标志的重要性。这些标志可能和资源枯竭有关或者和环境和社会经济影响有关。除了这四个研究案例,(半)干旱地区处于威胁之下的大量地下水经济体将要呈现可能出现崩溃的警报。在某些情况下,崩溃可导致严重的、不可逆转的后果,但也可意味着新的机会和变化。

A economia agrícola baseada nas águas subterrâneas pode colapsar? Uma investigação nos caminhos de quatro casos sob ameaça

Resumo

O objetivo desse trabalho é investigar a noção de colapso de economias agrícolas baseadas em águas subterrâneas utilizando estrutura analítica ciclo-adaptativa. Essa estrutura foi aplicada para quatro estudos de caso no sul da Europa e norte da África para questionar e discutir dinâmicas das economias agrícolas baseadas em águas subterrâneas. Em dois estudos de caso (Saiss no Marrocos e a bacia Clain na França), o colapso socioeconômico ou físico eminente foi uma das maiores preocupações para as partes interessadas e os sinais iniciais do colapso levaram à reorganização da economia baseada em águas subterrâneas. Nos outros dois casos (Biskra na Argélia e Almería na Espanha), o colapso ainda não era uma preocupação ou foi temporariamente resolvido pelo aumento da eficiência e acesso a recursos hídricos adicionais. Essa análise comparativa demonstra a importância de se levar em conta os primeiros sinais do colapso. Esses sinais podem ser tanto relacionados com a extração de recursos como impactos socioeconômicos e ambientais. Além desses quatro estudos de caso, o grande número de economias baseadas em águas subterrâneas sob ameaça em áreas (semi-)áridas devem se mostrar como um alerta sobre o possível colapso das mesmas. Colapso pode apresentar consequências severas e irreversíveis em alguns casos, entretanto pode significar novas oportunidades e mudanças.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivier Petit
    • 1
  • Marcel Kuper
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elena López-Gunn
    • 4
  • Jean-Daniel Rinaudo
    • 5
  • Ali Daoudi
    • 6
  • Caroline Lejars
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.CLERSE, Université d’ArtoisArrasFrance
  2. 2.CIRAD, UMR G-EauMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.IAV-Hassan IIRabatMorocco
  4. 4.ICATALISTMadridSpain
  5. 5.BRGMMontpellierFrance
  6. 6.ENSA, Hassan-BadiEl HarrachAlgeria

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