MONTAÑA Elma Carmen
congresos y reuniones científicas
"Local Water Management Strategies for Drylands in the Context of Environmental Global Change. The Case of Mendoza in Western Argentina"
Congreso; 6th Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Community; 2005
Institución organizadora:
IHDP, UNU, IIASA and University of Bonn
In the semi-arid eastern slopes of Central Andes, where Mendoza’s oases are located, water and land issues are the most expected undesirable effects of global environmental change. The retraction of glaciers and and the long-term decrease of annual precipitation explain the water shortage future scenarios of diminishing rivers flow and deepening of the current water scarcity conditions. While this local community has narrow margins of action to modify the facts of environmental global change, there are adaptation/mitigation strategies that could help in coping with the increasing water shortage. The historical configuration of Mendoza’s territory has been done over disputes regarding water and irrigated land. Since 1990 -and in the free-market economic framework- irrigation practices of foreign new wine producers have result in strain on the water system, particularly on underground water resources. Is this same underground water -or its “joined usage” with surface resources (different from the present “simultaneous usage”)- that could mitigate the diminishing surface flow. Differently from the water market of Chile, in Argentina water is “inherent to the land” (irrigation rights cannot be separated from land possession). There’s a mixed public-private administration system where the State has an essential role. An increasing scarcity scenario will cause additional strain on the system by intensifying disputes between water usages as well as between the different stake-holders involved. I this context, the challenge for alleviating increasing water scarcity is not only to make technological improvements but also organizational changes that combine both interdisciplinary research and adjustments to the local and regional water management policy. Pubished at