Water appropriation in the production of tobacco: governance, policies and sustainability
IRIBARNEGARAY, M.A.; BRITO, L.; SALAS BARBOZA, A.G.J.; SEGHEZZO, L.
International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology
Lugar: Olney; Año: 2017 vol. 13 p. 241 - 255
This paper links land and water appropriation processes, the related virtual water flows and a normative analysis of governance and sustainability issues. The intensive tobacco production in the Lerma Valley, province of Salta, Northern Argentina, was used as a case study. A conceptual framework of ´governance for sustainability´ was used to guide the analysis and integrate quantitative and qualitative methodological tools. This conceptual framework includes two phases: (a) a descriptive stage, in which social and cultural aspects are described based on a historical and place-based analysis and the help of a quantitative indicator (virtual water); and (b) a more prescriptive phase where a normative evaluation of water governance is carried out in terms of some sustainability principles. Virtual water of tobacco production,expressed in population equivalents, was estimated to represent about half of the needs of the entire city of Salta (population 535,000). The paper also shows that local water governance ignores some of the social perspectives held by relevant stakeholders. We end by discussing a number of policy alternatives that could help improve the governance and sustainability of the system.