Wetland Restoration in the Mancha Occidental Aquifer, Spain: A Critical Perspective on Water, Agricultural, and Environmental Policies


Address correspondence to P. Martínez-Santos, email pemartin@geo.ucm.es


Conflicts between intensive groundwater use and wetland conservation are widespread throughout arid and semiarid regions worldwide. These have become more significant wherever there has been a synchronism between pumping-based human development and the awakening of an environmental awareness in society. The Mancha Occidental aquifer provides an example of such an occurrence, which has given rise to noteworthy social conflicts. This paper presents a cross-policy analysis for wetland restoration measures, establishing the main reasons why funding-intensive agricultural, environmental, and water policies have only attained marginal success in recovering the area’s aquatic ecosystems.