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IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): James L. STEPHENS
Mohamed S. MATOUSSI and Angelos N. FINDIKAKIS

James L. STEPHENS , Mohamed S. MATOUSSI and Angelos N. FINDIKAKIS Nexant Ltd., 161 Hammersmith Road, London, United Kingdom, University of Tunis, Tunisia, Bechtel National, Inc., 50 Beale St., San Francisco, California, USA,



This paper presents a participative management model with built in incentives for economically efficient and sustainable aquifer use. The new management model is based on the concept of The creation of water user associations or enterprises requires addressing the issues of capital formation, its management structure, the adopted water allocation policy, and corrective Among the three sources of capital in the hands of the aquifer users, their land, their wells and associated equipment used to abstract water, and their right to access the water, it is the last two that could provide the capital base for the formation of their association. For a variety of reasons it is better to leave the land in the hands of the landowners. The major capital of the association would be the wells and water rights of its users who would surrender them in exchange for title to a share in the enterprise. The surrendered water rights should be subject to the requirement that for sustainable aquifer use the sum of all rights to access the aquifer must not exceed its long-term sustainable yield. The shareholders would then be entitled to a water allocation derived from the exploitation of the wells, which would now be subject to the For a successful transition from a situation of unmanaged, freely pumping wells to a system of have adequate user participation and representation, and provide the users with tangible benefits. The board of the association must include representatives elected by the share holders, professionals recruited by the association approved by the shareholders and possibly, non-executive representatives of the Water Authority and other wider bodies that the association sees fit to offer representation to. The Water Authority would set every year the maximum total water allocation that the association can abstract, while it will be left to the association to decide the distribution of this abstraction to individual users. The association would be obliged to anticipate and prepare for the eventuality that the least efficient users would be forced partially or totally out of production and to cater for all the negative socio- economic impacts by providing suitable mitigation measures. Because of the importance of sustainable management of economically important aquifers, the State can play a decisive role in the implementation of this management model by opening the way for reasoned State investment, providing capital grant incentives and the appropriate capital and banking infrastructure for the enterprises to get established.

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