Specifying the differentiated contribution of farmers to groundwater depletion in two irrigated areas in North Africa

Specifying the differentiated contribution of farmers to groundwater depletion in two irrigated... Much attention has been paid to the issue of groundwater depletion linked to intensive groundwater-based agriculture in (semi-)arid areas. Often referred to as the “overexploitation” of aquifers, groundwater depletion is generally attributed to the entire agricultural sector without distinguishing between different uses and users. Although it expresses a general concern for future users, the ambiguous term of “overexploitation” does not acknowledge the contested nature of groundwater use and emerging inequalities. Also, the impact of inequality on groundwater depletion is rarely questioned. The aim of this article is to investigate how and by whom groundwater is depleted, and in turn, how unequal access to groundwater fuels the socioeconomic differentiation of farms and groundwater depletion. Based on a detailed analysis of groundwater use from a user perspective in two irrigated areas in North Africa (Morocco and Algeria), this study shows how the context of groundwater depletion exacerbates—and is exacerbated by—existing inequalities. The paper concludes that knowing how much is withdrawn, where, and by whom provides helpful information for more informed groundwater management by a better understanding of the response of users to declining groundwater conditions and the interests and incentives of different social categories of famers to contribute to groundwater management. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hydrogeology Journal Springer Journals

Specifying the differentiated contribution of farmers to groundwater depletion in two irrigated areas in North Africa

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subject
Earth Sciences; Hydrogeology; Hydrology/Water Resources; Geology; Water Quality/Water Pollution; Geophysics/Geodesy; Waste Water Technology / Water Pollution Control / Water Management / Aquatic Pollution
ISSN
1431-2174
eISSN
1435-0157
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10040-017-1569-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Much attention has been paid to the issue of groundwater depletion linked to intensive groundwater-based agriculture in (semi-)arid areas. Often referred to as the “overexploitation” of aquifers, groundwater depletion is generally attributed to the entire agricultural sector without distinguishing between different uses and users. Although it expresses a general concern for future users, the ambiguous term of “overexploitation” does not acknowledge the contested nature of groundwater use and emerging inequalities. Also, the impact of inequality on groundwater depletion is rarely questioned. The aim of this article is to investigate how and by whom groundwater is depleted, and in turn, how unequal access to groundwater fuels the socioeconomic differentiation of farms and groundwater depletion. Based on a detailed analysis of groundwater use from a user perspective in two irrigated areas in North Africa (Morocco and Algeria), this study shows how the context of groundwater depletion exacerbates—and is exacerbated by—existing inequalities. The paper concludes that knowing how much is withdrawn, where, and by whom provides helpful information for more informed groundwater management by a better understanding of the response of users to declining groundwater conditions and the interests and incentives of different social categories of famers to contribute to groundwater management.

Journal

Hydrogeology JournalSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 1, 2017

References

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