Drought Institutional Framework

In Spain, the current legal framework for managing water resources is the Spanish Water Act and the WFD (transposed into Spanish law in 2003) (Stefano et al. 2015). The WFD was transposed into Portuguese law in 2005. Figure 23.3 illustrates Spanish and Portuguese RBDs (Portuguese "Regioes Hidrograficas," RH; Spanish "Demarcaciones Hidrograficas").

In terms of institutional framework, Spain's water management is organized in a multilevel structure, divided between the central government, autonomous communities (which are defined by the Spanish Constitution as the regional governments), and river basin district administrations (RBDAs) (Sanchez-Martfnez et al. 2012). The Spanish Water Act established two river


Spanish and Portuguese river basin districts (representation of Portuguese islands [Madeira and Azores archipelagos] RBDs is missing).

basin types: (1) intraregional basins, in which boundaries lie within a single autonomous community and (2) interregional basins, whose boundaries encompass more than one autonomous community and/or are transboundary (such as the ones shared with Portugal). Intraregional basins are managed by the regional government of the autonomous community, through a hydraulic administration (Administracion Hidraulica). The latter are managed by river basin management agencies (Confederaciones Hidrograficas). The national drought policy is defined by central government (Ministry of Environment). The RBDAs are responsible for drought planning and operational management. When a drought situation is declared, a Permanent Drought Commission is formed under the approval of a royal decree by the government. The Commission is composed of representatives of the administrations and stakeholders, with the role of managing water resources systems, in the basin area where the drought situation is declared (Estrela and Sancho 2016).

The situation is different in Portugal. The Portuguese Environmental Agency (Agenda Portuguesa do Ambiente, APA), as the National Water Authority, represents the state in water issues, having the responsibility for water planning and management. That authority and responsibility was transferred to APA in 2012, with the integration of the former RBDAs (five in the IP mainland Portuguese territory) as decentralized services at the regional level (APA 2016). According to the Portuguese Water Law, the National Water Authority declares drought situations and manages, together with other relevant organizations, the application of drought mitigation measures. Nevertheless, following the 2012 drought event, the Commission for the Prevention and Monitoring of Effects of Drought and Climate Change (in Portuguese, CSAC) and a technical working group under it were created as permanent bodies responsible for preventing, monitoring, and following drought conditions and climate change impacts, as well as for providing and assessing risk measures to mitigate drought effects (DR 2012). The working group, coordinated by the Office of Planning, Policy and General Administration (GPP), is composed of 20 entities in various areas (such as meteorology, agriculture, natural conservation, food, territory, finance). The National Water Authority (APA) is one of these entities.

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