Last update:
2014-07-13

Daimiel Natural Park and Agriculture, Spain

Description:

The area is a Ramsar site. It contains the last relict of an endangered ecosystem, known as Las Tablas de Daimiel. It is part of the drainage basin of the Guadiana River, with significant surface and ground connections, draining into lagoon systems (totaling 22,000 ha).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Daimiel Natural Park and Agriculture, Spain
Country:Spain
State or province:Ciudad Real - Castilla-La Mancha
(municipality or city/town)Daimiel
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Water access rights and entitlements
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Other agricultural products
Corn/Maize
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

There are between 10,000 and 50,000 illegal wells, no one knows exactly how much water is extracted. The area that shoul be flooded regularly, is not flooded.

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Project area:200000
Level of Investment:87,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:340000
Start of the conflict:1973
Company names or state enterprises:Asociación de Titulares de Aguas Privadas del Acuífero del Campo de Montiel, ASAJA
Comunidad General de Usuarios del Acuífero de la Mancha Occidental
Relevant government actors:Spanish government, Regional Administration of Castilla La Mancha , Confederación Hidrográfica Guadalquivir y C.H. Júcar, Consejería Medio Ambiente Castilla-La Mancha
International and Finance InstitutionsEuropean Union (EU)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Greenpeace, SEO/Birdlife, Ecologistas en Acción, WWF, Asociacion de consumidores de Castilla-La Mancha. Movimiento por las Tablas de Daimiel y el Guadiana. ADENA, ANEA
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Other Environmental impactsLack of flloding in this wetland because of intensive use of groundwater through wells, for commercial irrigated agriculture
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:Enforce existing legislation, greater control in wells, awareness and sensitivity of water users.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:This is a complex conflict from the different perspectives and stakeholders (water users, farmers, environmentalists, businesses, etc.). Since the problem of overexploitation of the aquifer began, resulting in a loss of ecological values of the area and the natural park 'Tablas de Daimiel', many solutions have been proposed, none satisfactory.

The distribution of impacts and environmental costs, affects both those who now live in the area but there is also a more comprehensive impact, the loss of a unique ecosystem in the world and of great importance for many migratory birds and other flora and fauna. In addition to qualitative and quantitative loss of underground water reserves, with a very slow renewal period, This affects both the current population and the future.

The solution are not diversions or dams to bring more water, but a sustainable way of farming consistent with environmental values.

Thus, this conflict might fit into what we might call 'environmental justice' and even more 'water justice'
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

La Directiva de Aguas Potables (The Drinking Water Directive: 93/83/EC)

La Directiva de Nitratos (The Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC)

La Directiva de Aguas de Baño (The Bathing Water Directive 76/160/EEC)

La Directiva Marco del Agua (The Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC)

La Directiva de Tratamiento de Aguas Residuales (The Urban Water Treatment Directive /271/EEC)

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Hablemos del acuífero 23 / Mariano Velasco Lizcano

Agua, minería y medio ambiente: libro homenaje al profesor Rafael Fernández Rubio

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Other comments:This could be considered a water justice conflict
Meta information
Contributor:Lucia Peña Armijo
Last update13/07/2014
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