California Institute for Water Resources
California Institute for Water Resources
California Institute for Water Resources
University of California
California Institute for Water Resources


International Seminar Botín Foundation / Rosenberg International Forum on Management of drought and water shortages in California and Spain, on January 29, 2015 in Madrid

The seminar was inaugurated by Isabel García Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and served to discuss and compare water policies in California and Spain, and share ideas and experiences on how to improve them.

The State of California is suffering from severe drought. Spain suffered the longest drought since 1950 in the years 1993 to 1995, with other more regional effects during 2004-2008 in the eastern half of the country and in the Segura and Júcar in 2014.

In both countries, agriculture is the largest water user, but urban, commercial, and industrial users require guaranteed supplies. Environmental conservation, restoration of ecosystems and water resources, and the preservation of fauna and flora are fundamental objectives of water and environmental laws in Spain (incorporating the directives of the European Union) and California (State and Federal laws). The construction of waterworks for decades to cushion and manage the variability of hydrology in both countries, largely isolating water user sectors of climate variability. However, climate change projections indicate that climate and hydrological regime will undergo very important transformations.

Nobody doubts that, despite the massive storage capacity, drought management and renewable resources will become increasingly critical. Spain and California have many physical similarities, but institutional frameworks to address environmental and water present very different problems.

The Botín Foundation and the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy organized the January 29, 2015, at the headquarters of Foundation in Madrid (C / Castelló 18 C), the seminar "Management of drought and water scarcity in semi lands -áridas: the cases of California and Spain."


-09: 00. Welcome. (Isabel García Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Inigo Saenz de Miera, Director General of the Botín Foundation, Henry Vaux, President Emeritus Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy).

SESSION 1: MARCOS GENERAL (Moderator: Henry Vaux, University of California).

-09: 20. An overview of California's water resources and their management. (Jay Lund, University of California, Davis). 

-09: 50. An overview of the water resources of Spain and its management. (Nuria Hernandez-Mora, Universidad de Sevilla). 

-10: 20. Commentator: Identification of commonalities and differences. (Richard Howitt, University of California, Davis).

-10: 45. Pause.


-11: 15. Drought in Spain: characteristics and important aspects. (Joaquín Andreu, Polytechnic University of Valencia). 

-11: 35. Drought in California: characteristics and important aspects. (Heather Cooley, Pacific Institute). 

-11: 55. Commentator: What are alike and different? (Lucia De Stefano, Univ. Complutense de Madrid and Water Observatory, F. Booty).

-12: 15. General discussion.

SESSION 3: PLACING THE SHORTAGE IN GLOBAL CONTEXT (Moderator: Mordechai Shechter, University of Haifa, Israel).

-12: 45. Global Shortage: the perspective of California. (Ariel Dinar, UC Riverside). 

-13: 15. Global Shortage: the perspective of Spain. (Alberto Garrido, Univ. Politécnica de Madrid, and Water Observatory, Botín Foundation). 

SESSION 4: SOLUTIONS TO MANAGE THE DROUGHT (Moderator: Elias Fereres, IAS-CSIC and University of Córdoba).

-15: 00. Lessons of drought: what worked well and what went wrong in California. (Richard Howitt, UC Davis). 

-15: 20. Lessons of drought: what worked well and what went wrong in Spain. (Luis Garrote - Ana Iglesias, Polytechnic University of Madrid). 

-15: 40. The role of groundwater to manage drought in California. (Vice President Daniel Dooley, University of California). 

-16: 10. The role of groundwater to manage drought in Spain. (Emilio Custodio, Andrés Sahuquillo, M.Ramón Llamas, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Valencia Polytechnic Univ;.. Univ Complutense and Water Observatory, F. Booty.). 

-16: 50. Commentator: Considering the experiences of California and Spain Can generalize management frameworks or should be locally specific? (Jay Lund, UC Davis).


-17: 30. Debate: What can highlight facing the management of future droughts from the recent experiences of Spain and California? Helen Ingram, UC Irvine; Douglas Parker, University of California; Joan Girona, Catalunya IRTA (see presentation); Elijah Fereres, IAS-CSIC University of Córdoba (see presentation); Marcuello Concepción, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

-18: 20. General discussion.

-18: 40. Closing.


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