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The first IEB Report of 2024 focuses on the issue of water

The Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB) has presented its first Report for the year 2024, devoted to a highly topical issue: water management. Coordinated by Cristina de Gispert, professor of economics at the University of Barcelona (UB), the aim of the report is to explain and analyse in depth three issues whose regulation represents a real challenge in the context of drought and the adaptation to climate change.

The IEB Report “Drought: scarcity and management of the available water” includes three articles written by experts that differ in terms of the perspective of the analysis and the economic sectors and territorial areas to which each case refers. In the first article, entitled “Water prices: current features and future challenges in the residential sector”, Marián García-Valiñas (University of Oviedo) and Fernando Arbués (University of Zaragoza) discuss the criteria that should be prioritized when setting the prices that domestic users in Spain should pay for their water.

In the second paper, “Tourism and water consumption: an exploration of relationships”, David Saurí (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) analyses the consumption patterns, so often in the spotlight, in a sector which in 2022 represented 11.6% of Spain’s GDP and 9.3% of its employment. Tourism is particular predominant in regions where the drought is having the greatest impact, such as Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

Finally, in “The availability of water in Catalonia”, Joan Gaya, engineer and member of CMES, deals with the issue of investment in infrastructure, and its selection and prioritization in the current water crisis.

The conclusions of this IEB Report provide important data and evidence that may be useful when designing incentives and plans to deal with the challenges posed by drought, in terms of long-term water security and adaptation to climate change.