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Cross-border drought risk management

Droughts can be devastating to local communities and their effects need to be mitigated. An EU-funded initiative examined how cooperation can be improved between two European nations for managing the risk of drought.
Cross-border drought risk management
The Guadiana River is the fourth longest on the Iberian Peninsula and separates Spain from Portugal. It also has the fourth largest river basin, covering an area of 68 000 square kilometres, within which shared water sheds account for over two thirds of its territory. The region is noted for its relative aridity, water scarcity and the threat of droughts.

The 'Transboundary drought risk management - An application to the Guadiana River Basin' (TRANSDRIM) project aimed to minimise the social and economic impacts of cross-border drought events. It also sought to minimise potential conflicts concerning water use and availability by creating a framework for transboundary drought risk management across EU river basins.

Project objectives included identifying potential barriers and constraints to a transboundary policy of drought risk management for the Iberian Peninsula. A comparative analysis was conducted of drought policy framework and tools used by the two countries. This was based on five main components: international treaties and agreements, national legislation and plans, conflict resolution mechanisms, water rights and assignment, and drought response mechanisms.

Compatibility between the Spanish and Portuguese planning structures for the Guadiana River Basin was also assessed. TRANSDRIM explored technical solutions for a transboundary and operational drought management framework for the lower Guadiana valley. In addition, it also assessed the feasibility of proposed transboundary drought response measures in accordance with economic, political and social criteria.

TRANSDRIM outcomes will play a valuable role in helping to improve cooperation at the policy, planning and management levels between Spain and Portugal to limit the risk of drought.

Related information


Guadiana river, river, transboundary, drought, risk management, policy, planning
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