Water Demand Analysis for Tree Crops in Spanish Mediterranean Farms

Maria Angeles Fernández-Zamudio, Maria Dolores De-Miguel, Pedro Caballero


Olive, vine and almond in rainfed farming systems are the most traditional crops in the large inland extensions of the Spanish Mediterranean. Their economic contributions enable farming activities to be maintained meaning that the villages remain inhabited. In the rainfed-farms in the Mediterranean regions it is possible to find only a certain proportion of the farms with some type of irrigation system. Given the water scarcity, the aim of this work is to determine the impact that an irrigationwater pricing policy would have on these regions, as outlined in the European Water Framework Directive. After analysing the direct effect water price would have on the net margin in these crops, demand functions have been obtained, applying the Multiattribute Utility Theory. The calculations, with reference to a farm that is representative of these regions, have been applied to two model scenarios, each with a different level of mechanization. Results show the impact on economic, social and environmental aspects of the pricing policy under the current water allotment. The work is completed by analysing the different contexts of irrigation-water availability on the farm. The study leads to the conclusion that increasing mechanization may be the most straightforward strategy to ensure the survival of these farms in the short to medium term if the current trend of increasing irrigation-water prices is consolidated.



Mediterranean agro-systems, Multiattribute Utility Theory, demand functions of irrigation water, olive, vine, almond.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jams.vol11iss0pp29-36


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Copyright (c) 2017 Maria Angeles Fernández-Zamudio, Maria Dolores De-Miguel, Pedro Caballero

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