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Desertification processes in the mediterranean area and their enterlinks with the global climate. sub-group I: hydrological response to land use change and over exploitation of water resources in a semi-arid area of spain

Exploitable results

Hydrological investigations were carried out in the Upper Guadiana Catchment, central Spain. In this area excessive groundwater abstraction to provide water for irrigation, combined with the impact of an extended drought has placed severe stress on water resources, resulting in falling groundwater levels, desiccation of wetlands and reduction of river flows. The project provided the data required to develop a numerical groundwater model of the catchment with which to calculate water resources and to provide a management tool with which to assess the impact of a range of different water resource management scenarios. The model and results in general will provide essential information on which to base future management decisions. It is hoped that the water resources data and the groundwater model can be used to provide the basis for long term sustainable natural resource management in the catchment and thus provide the long term economic viability of a very important agricultural region of Spain.