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Water Laws In Portugal (1919 And 2005): The Challenge Of Integrated Management

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Evelyn Zucco, Francisco Costa
University of Minho1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 15: Water law,


Water planning is undergoing a change in Portugal, thanks to transposition of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000) into national law by the Water law (n.º 58/2005). The Water law, established in 2005, is probably the most significant legislative in the water field, mainly to the reform and modernization process in Portugal. Even before the WFD has been transposed into Portuguese law, there was already water plans in Portugal introduced by Decree-Law n.º 45 of 1994. In Portugal, the water politics went through some historical periods that began at the end of XIX century (Pato, 2013). However, for the legal construction of water policies still took 35 years, until they consolidate a normative/institutional articulation which was possible with Decree n.º 5787-III of 1919, know as the First Water law. As we see the water planning is not new to the Portugal law system, but the planning with focus on integrated management we could say that is. Even though in 1994 Portugal had already defined guidelines for integrated water management (by Decree Law n.º 45) it was not sufficient to ensure an integrated management in practice. Law is one of many factors that can affect, positively or negatively, the capacity of a social-ecological system to cope with a range of impacts and changing conditions (Ebbesson and Hey, 2013). In this way, is importante and necessary to analyse the diferente facets of the legal system govern different aspects of the implementation of law, regulation and the management of water resources. This paper will explore through one analyse historical two important documents in the planning and management of water resources in Portugal: The first Water law (1919) and the last one of 2005 (after transpositions of the WFD).

Material and Methods

This study is based on analyse the first Water law (of the year 1919) and your review (of 2005). We also conducted a thorough reading the decrees and documents that support it (decrees-law: n.º 8/1892; n.º 6827/1920; n° 45/1994 and WFD 200/60/CE), to try understand the innovative aspects of their review, after WFD.

Results and Discussion

In general we observe some distinct phases in water resources planning in Portugal: (1) the first phase takes place until the 70s, which has become a major focus of the strictly technical aspects (related to hydroelectric plants); (2) the late 70s and during the 80s, major emphasis and concern is given to water resources; (3) the end of the 90s, is an important phase in the institutional plan and the concept of integration through the river basin plans (Duck, 2013). Finally as the current phase we have an construction of a new paradigm in the planning and management of water resources in Portugal. Table 1 refers to the five factors between the two laws of water: First one of 1919 and the last one of 2005. In 2000, with the entry into force of WFD it was clear that water management is much more than just water distribution (as observed by the previous law) and treatment. The concept of "integrated water resources management" has been used and implemented with more force than intended by Decree-law n.º 45 of 1994. Thus, the new water law (of 2005) adopted principles never before developed and this changed all its legislation. This situation comes up new challenges and create new entities, modifying competences and duties in this area with strong interactions with spatial planning (Saraiva, 2008). Conclusion

The data obtained in the reading process allowed compare two important periods in the history of water management in Portugal. Fundamentally, the policy set between 1919 and 1920 were guided through private investment and economic exploration of national water resources. In recent years, Portugal witnessed a profound reform of the legislative framework for water management, as a result of the publication of important pieces of legislation that have brought new challenges to the legal, institutional and regulatory framework. From the analysis these water laws, it is clear there are a evolution of scientific knowledge (mainly after WFD) but still needs to be improved as well as development integrated approaches with the main laws on land use and making this articulation stronger. 1. Ebbesson, J. , E. Hey, E. Introduction (2013) where in law is social-ecological resilience? Ecology and Society, 18 (2013).

2. Pato, J. (2013) Políticas públicas da água em Portugal: do paradigma hidráulico à modernidade tardia. Análise Social, 206 (1).

3. Portugal, Decree-law n.º 5787 –IIIi (1919).

4. Portugal, Water Law n.° 58 (2005). Approves Water Law, transposing into national law Directive n° 2000/60/CE, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 23 October, and establishing the bases and institutional framework for sustainable water management.

5.UE, Water Framework Directive 2000/60/CE (2000) Establishes a framework of community action in the field of water policy. European Parliament and Council of the European Union.

2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin