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Can agricultural groundwater economies collapse? An inquiry into the pathways of four groundwater economies under threat

Les économies agricoles reposant sur l’eau souterraine peuvent-elles s’effondrer ? Une enquête sur les trajectoires de quatre économies basées sur l’eau souterraine menacées

Olivier Petit (), Marcel Kuper (), Elena López-Gunn, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo (), Ali Daoudi () and Caroline Lejars ()
Additional contact information
Marcel Kuper: UMR G-EAU - Gestion de l'Eau, Acteurs, Usages - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRSTEA - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - AgroParisTech - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, IAV - Institut Agronomique Vétérinaire Hassan II - IAV - Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II - IAV (MOROCCO)
Elena López-Gunn: Observatorio del Agua de la Fundación Botín - UCM - Universidad Complutense de Madrid [Madrid] - UPM - Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Jean-Daniel Rinaudo: BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM)
Ali Daoudi: ENSA - École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie [Alger]
Caroline Lejars: UMR G-EAU - Gestion de l'Eau, Acteurs, Usages - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRSTEA - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - AgroParisTech - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, IAV - Institut Agronomique Vétérinaire Hassan II - IAV - Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II - IAV (MOROCCO)

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Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the notion of collapse of agricultural groundwater economies using the adaptive-cycle analytical framework. This framework was applied to four case studies in southern Europe and North Africa to question and discuss the dynamics of agricultural groundwater economies. In two case studies (Saiss in Morocco and Clain basin in France), the imminent physical or socio-economic collapsewas amajor concern for stakeholders and the early signs of collapse led to re-organization of the groundwater economy. In the other two cases (Biskra in Algeria and Almeria in Spain), collapse was either not yet a concern or had been temporarily resolved through increased efficiency and access to additional water resources. This comparative analysis shows the importance of taking the early signs of collapse into account. These signs can be either related to resource depletion or to environmental and socio-economic impacts. Beyond these four case studies, the large number of groundwater economies under threat in (semi-)arid areas should present a warning regarding their possible collapse. Collapse can have severe and irreversible consequences in some cases, but it can also mean new opportunities and changes.

Keywords: "Socio-economicaspects"; "Groundwatereconomy"; "Arid regions"; "Agriculture"; "Over-abstraction" (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-04-13
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01524170
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Published in Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Geological Society, 2017, ⟨10.1007/s10040-017-1567-3⟩

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Working Paper: Can agricultural groundwater economies collapse? An inquiry into the pathways of four groundwater economies under threat (2017)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01524170

DOI: 10.1007/s10040-017-1567-3

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