The Evolution of the Water Regime in Spain

  • Meritxell Costejà
  • Nuria Font
  • Anna Rigol
  • Joan Subirats
Part of the Environment & Policy book series (ENPO, volume 40)


The Spanish water regime was shaped in the late 19th century with the adoption of a regulatory framework that was coherent with the political, economic and social context at that time. However, while this regulatory framework remained almost unaltered until the mid eighties, the increase of the number and type of uses of water during the 20th century led the regime towards a high degree of complexity. By analysing the evolution of the regime over the last 130 years, the main concern of this chapter is to assess the extent to which the water regime is currently moving towards more integrated schemes. The underlying hypothesis is that, while there have been some attempts to introduce integrated approaches to the water regime of adopting new regulation and policies since the eighties, integration has to a large extent been frustrated due to a series of interrelated factors: policy inertia, intense territorial and social confrontations over the resource, and water scarcity as a factor leading to supply-oriented policies. The chapter is divided into five sections. The first one briefly describes the political and administrative structure of the Spanish water regime. Section two describes the general landscape of water resources and uses. The third section extensively analyses the evolution of both property rights and policy design on water. Finally, section five closes the chapter with some concluding remarks assessing the extent to which Spanish water regime moves towards integrated approaches.


River Basin Water Demand Water Regime Water Policy Civil Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arino Ortiz (1999) “Sastre Beceiro Mónica, Leyes de Aguas y Política Hidráulica en España” Madrid: Ed. Comares.Google Scholar
  2. Arrojo (coord.) (2001) “El Plan Hidrológico Nacional a debate”, Bilbao: Bakeaz y Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua.Google Scholar
  3. Calero Rodriguez (1995) “Régimen Jurídico de las Costas Españolas” Pamplona: Ed. Aranzadi.Google Scholar
  4. Embid Irujo (coord.) (2000) “La reforma de la Ley de Aguas (Ley 46/1999, de 13 de diciembre)”, Madrid: Ed. Civitas.Google Scholar
  5. Embid Irujo (1992) “Los medios de una política hidráulica finisecular”, Comunicación presentada en la UIMP.Google Scholar
  6. Embid Irujo (1990) “La Planificación Hidrológica”, Revista de Administración Pública, n. 123.Google Scholar
  7. Fanlo (1996) “Las Confederaciones Hidrográficas y otras administraciones hidráulicas”, Madrid: Civitas.Google Scholar
  8. Gobierno de Aragon (200 1) “Alegaciones al Plan Hidrológico Nacional 2000”, Madrid: Ed. Civitas y Gobierno de Aragón.Google Scholar
  9. Martin Mateo (1989) “El reto del agua”, Alicante.Google Scholar
  10. Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transporte (1993) “Plan Hidrológico Nacional”, Madrid. Ministerio de Obras Publicas, Transporte y Medio Ambiente (1994) “Dictamen sobre el Plan Hidrológico Nacional”, Madrid.Google Scholar
  11. Ministerio de Obras Publicas, Transportes y Medio Ambiente (1995) “Medio Ambiente en España, Madrid.Google Scholar
  12. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente (2000) “Libro Blanco del Agua”, Madrid: MMA.Google Scholar
  13. Martin Mateo (1991) “Administración de los Recursos Hídricos. Aspectos Institucionales y Modalidades Gestoras”, Revista de Administración Pública, n. 124.Google Scholar
  14. Martin Retortillo (1997) “Derecho de Aguas”, Madrid: Civitas.Google Scholar
  15. Moreu Ballonga (1996) “Aguas públicas y aguas privadas”, Barcelona: Ed. Bosch.Google Scholar
  16. Peridigó (2001) “El régim jurídic dels drets sobre l’aigua a Espanya. Domini públic hidràulic i aigües privades”, unpublished paper.Google Scholar
  17. Perez Diaz, Mezo and Álvarez Miranda (1996) “Política y economía del agua en España”, Madrid: Círculo de Empresarios.Google Scholar
  18. Sanchez Moron (1995) “Transferencias y pérdida futura o limitación del contenido de la propiedad privada de las aguas: sobre algunos aspectos del régimen transitorio de la nueva Ley de Aguas”, Revista Española de Derecho Administrativo núm. 46.Google Scholar
  19. Setuain Mendia (2000) “La reforma de la Ley de Aguas ante las cámaras legislativas: la tramitación parlamentaria de la Ley 46/1999, de 13 de diciembre”, Revista Aragonesa de Administracion Pública, n. 16.Google Scholar

Web sites

  1. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente
  2. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meritxell Costejà
    • 1
  • Nuria Font
    • 1
  • Anna Rigol
    • 1
  • Joan Subirats
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations