Special Issue "Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Luis Garrote
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering: Hydraulics, Energy and Environment, Technical University of Madrid, Spain
Interests: hydrodynamic modeling; water resources; hydrology; vulnerability; climate change; quantitative assessment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water resources management models support a variety of research applications, including the assessment of water availability, the allocation of water among competing uses, the evaluation of system performance, the identification of optimal system expansion, and the definition of suitable operating strategies. System analysis tools, like simulation and optimization, have been enriched with novel modelling concepts drawn from social sciences, economic analysis, conflict resolution, agent-based systems, and game theory, among others. The field has evolved from a traditional emphasis on cost–benefit analysis in water resource project investments to a wider scope that includes environmental implications, stakeholder concerns, social welfare, and human dimensions. We face now the challenge of developing integrated modelling frameworks to provide quantitative evidence for policymakers on water management issues.

This Special Issue of Water calls for original research papers that develop or apply water resources management models for policy identification and assessment. Open challenges in water resources management models include quantifying the response of water systems to policy interventions; addressing the nexus between water, energy, food, and the environment; characterizing the role of uncertainty in decision making, formalizing social interactions, or improving the theoretical understanding of complex adaptive systems. We seek contributions that address these and other challenges with a focus on policy assessment from local, regional, or global perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Luis Garrote
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Water resources system models
  • Policy
  • Integrated water management
  • Uncertainty
  • Integrated assessment
  • Conflict resolution

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Research on the Impact of Tourism Development on the Sustainable Development of Reservoir Headwater Area Using China’s Tingxi Reservoir as an Example
Water 2020, 12(12), 3311; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123311 - 25 Nov 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of tourism development on the sustainable development of Tingxi Reservoir. Based on tourism impact theory, 804 questionnaires were statistically validated and analyzed, followed by a semi-structured interview with five respondents, and finally examined [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of tourism development on the sustainable development of Tingxi Reservoir. Based on tourism impact theory, 804 questionnaires were statistically validated and analyzed, followed by a semi-structured interview with five respondents, and finally examined by a multivariate verification method. The study found that not only did development fail to raise land and housing prices, develop leisure activities, improve medical facilities, and supplement police manpower, but it also increased consumer costs and environmental damage. There were also problems such as insufficient interpreters, parking and rest facilities, and ineffective management of communication channels, bicycle facilities, and tourist waste, which did not help youths to return to their hometowns. Furthermore, due to the disparities in the performance of leisure opportunities, medical and health care, spatial planning, and cultural development, there were different opinions among the stakeholders. Suggestions: (1) Satisfy the needs of different stakeholders; (2) Improve the environmental literacy of tourists and provide more garbage cans; (3) Develop additional scenic spots to divert tourists; (4) Stabilize prices and attract investment from enterprises; and (5) Increase the participation of residents in community development to supplement industrial manpower. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
An Investigation of Stormwater Quality Variation within an Industry Sector Using the Self-Reported Data Collected under the Stormwater Monitoring Program
Water 2020, 12(11), 3185; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113185 - 14 Nov 2020
Abstract
Storm runoff pollutants are among the major sources of surface water impairments, globally. Despite several monitoring programs and guidance on stormwater management practices, there are many streams still impaired by urban runoff. This study evaluates an industry sector’s pollutant discharge characteristics using the [...] Read more.
Storm runoff pollutants are among the major sources of surface water impairments, globally. Despite several monitoring programs and guidance on stormwater management practices, there are many streams still impaired by urban runoff. This study evaluates an industry sector’s pollutant discharge characteristics using the self-reported data collected under Tennessee Multi Sector Permit program. The stormwater pollutant discharge characteristics were analyzed from 2014 to 2018 for an industry sector involving twelve facilities in West Tennessee, USA. The data analysis revealed the presence of both organic and inorganic contaminants in stormwater samples collected at all twelve industrial facilities, with the most common metals being magnesium, copper, and aluminum. The principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to better understand the correlation between water quality parameters, their origins, and seasonal variations. Furthermore, the water quality indexes (WQIs) were calculated to evaluate the stormwater quality variations among studied facilities and seasons. The results demonstrated slight variations in stormwater WQIs among the studied facilities ranging from “Bad” to “Medium” quality. The lowest seasonal average WQI was found for spring compared to the other seasons. Certain limitations associated with the self-reported nature of data were identified to inform the decision makers regarding the required future changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Are the Financial Markets Sensitive to Hydrological Risk? Evidence from the Bovespa
Water 2020, 12(11), 3011; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113011 - 27 Oct 2020
Abstract
This research analyzes the BOVESPA stock market response to the worst drought occurred in the last 100 years in Brazil. For this purpose, we conducted a standard event study analysis in order to assess the financial response to such hydrological risk on a [...] Read more.
This research analyzes the BOVESPA stock market response to the worst drought occurred in the last 100 years in Brazil. For this purpose, we conducted a standard event study analysis in order to assess the financial response to such hydrological risk on a sample of seven Brazilian agri-food firms. We found statistically significant negative cumulative average abnormal returns (CAARs) around the drought official announcement for different event windows used. Particularly, the highest impact was obtained for the narrowest temporary window, five days around the event disclosure. Moreover, we also found the drought announcement affects even more negatively those companies that sell perishable products, five out of seven in our sample, versus those selling nonperishable ones by running a two-sample t-test on CAARs. This study brings awareness to the climate change impact into the emerging financial markets and the risk faced by shareholders when investing in the agri-food sector, not only in Brazil but also in other Latin American countries, due to the increasing probability to suffer from droughts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Tool for Assessing Environmental Impacts of Altering Short-Term Flow and Water Level Regimes
Water 2020, 12(10), 2913; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102913 - 19 Oct 2020
Abstract
The computational tool InSTHAn (indicators of short-term hydrological alteration) was developed to summarize data on subdaily stream flows or water levels into manageable, comprehensive and ecologically meaningful metrics, and to qualify and quantify their deviation from unaltered states. The pronunciation of the acronym [...] Read more.
The computational tool InSTHAn (indicators of short-term hydrological alteration) was developed to summarize data on subdaily stream flows or water levels into manageable, comprehensive and ecologically meaningful metrics, and to qualify and quantify their deviation from unaltered states. The pronunciation of the acronym refers to the recording interval of input data (i.e., instant). We compared InSTHAn with the tool COSH-Tool in a characterization of the subdaily flow variability of the Colorado River downstream from the Glen Canyon dam, and in an evaluation of the effects of the dam on this variability. Both tools captured the hydropeaking caused by a dam operation, but only InSTHAn quantified the alteration of key flow attributes, highlighting significant increases in the range of within-day flow variations and in their rates of change. This information is vital to evaluate the potential ecological consequences of the hydrological alteration, and whether they may be irreversible, making InSTHAn a key tool for river flow management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Risk Assessment of China’s Water-Saving Contract Projects
Water 2020, 12(10), 2689; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102689 - 25 Sep 2020
Abstract
In order to alleviate the problem of water shortage, the Ministry of Water Resources of China proposed a Water-Saving Contract (WSC) project management model in 2014, which is similar to the Energy Performance Contract (EPC). In this context, this research aims to explore [...] Read more.
In order to alleviate the problem of water shortage, the Ministry of Water Resources of China proposed a Water-Saving Contract (WSC) project management model in 2014, which is similar to the Energy Performance Contract (EPC). In this context, this research aims to explore the applicability of China’s WSC projects by risk assessment, and to help promote WSC projects in China. Different from traditional risk assessment, this paper takes into account the uncertainty of the EPC project’s risks, and adopts the multielement connection degree set pair analysis to evaluate both the level and trend of the risks. The results show: (1) the overall risk of China’s WSC projects is low, so WSC projects are very suitable for promotion in China. However, the overall risk shows a trend of decelerated ascent, which shows that there are some potential high-risk factors in China’s WSC projects; (2) among the many risks of the WSC projects, audit risk, financing risk, and payment risk are at a high-risk level; market competition risk is at a medium-risk level; the remaining risks are at a low-risk level; (3) among the medium and high risks, audit risk, financing risk, and market competition risk have a trend of accelerated ascent, while payment risk has a trend of decelerated decline; in low risks, inflation risk has a trend of decelerated ascent, while the remaining risks have a trend of accelerated decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
A Nation-Wide Framework for Evaluating Freshwater Health in China: Background, Administration, and Indicators
Water 2020, 12(9), 2596; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092596 - 17 Sep 2020
Abstract
This study reviewed the existing experience of implementing the nation-wide freshwater health evaluation in China and around the world and proposes a new framework that works in collaboration with the River Chief System (RCS). The institutional context of China with intertwined political and [...] Read more.
This study reviewed the existing experience of implementing the nation-wide freshwater health evaluation in China and around the world and proposes a new framework that works in collaboration with the River Chief System (RCS). The institutional context of China with intertwined political and scientific considerations makes it essential to establish a concise and quantitative approach to assess the effectiveness of the RCS as well as local freshwater health conditions that can be easily understood by non-experts for decision-making. To fulfil this objective, we reconstructed the indicator categories based on the best practices in major western countries and the existing regional standards in China. The new indicator framework includes two main aspects: Ecosystem integrity (physical habitat, water quantity, water quality, and aquatic life) and non-ecological performance (social services and water governance). Specifically, the non-ecological attributes of freshwaters are in accordance with the purposes of the RCS and are usually ignored in many countries. The final health grade for a specific water body is determined by a weighted averaging method; this grade is the core element of an evaluation protocol designed to produce reliable data for adaptable water resources governance in China. The research findings in this study will also be integrated into the new national standard to be issued by the Ministry of Water Resources of China in late 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
System Dynamics Modeling for Supporting Drought-Oriented Management of the Jucar River System, Spain
Water 2020, 12(5), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051407 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The management of water in systems where the balance between resources and demands is already precarious can pose a challenge and it can be easily disrupted by drought episodes. Anticipated drought management has proved to be one of the main strategies to reduce [...] Read more.
The management of water in systems where the balance between resources and demands is already precarious can pose a challenge and it can be easily disrupted by drought episodes. Anticipated drought management has proved to be one of the main strategies to reduce their impact. Drought economic, environmental, and social impacts affect different sectors that are often interconnected. There is a need for water management models able to acknowledge the complex interactions between multiple sectors, activities, and variables to study the response of water resource systems to drought management strategies. System dynamics (SD) is a modeling methodology that facilitates the analysis of interactions and feedbacks within and between sectors. Although SD has been applied for water resource management, there is a lack of SD models able to regulate complex water resource systems on a monthly time scale and considering multiple reservoir operating rules, demands, and policies. In this paper, we present an SD model for the strategic planning of drought management in the Jucar River system, incorporating dynamic reservoir operating rules, policies, and drought management strategies triggered by a system state index. The DSS combines features from early warning and information systems, allowing for the simulation of drought strategies, evaluating their economic impact, and exploring new management options in the same environment. The results for the historical period show that drought early management can be beneficial for the performance of the system, monitoring the current state of the system, and activating drought management measures results in a substantial reduction of the economic impact of droughts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Flood Control Versus Water Conservation in Reservoirs: A New Policy to Allocate Available Storage
Water 2020, 12(4), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040994 - 01 Apr 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study is to contribute to solving conflicts that arise in the operation of multipurpose reservoirs when determining maximum conservation levels (MCLs). The specification of MCLs in reservoirs that are operated for water supply and flood control may imply a [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to contribute to solving conflicts that arise in the operation of multipurpose reservoirs when determining maximum conservation levels (MCLs). The specification of MCLs in reservoirs that are operated for water supply and flood control may imply a reduction in the volume of water supplied with a pre-defined reliability in the system. The procedure presented in this study consists of the joint optimization of the reservoir yield with a specific reliability subject to constraints imposed by hydrological dam safety and downstream river safety. We analyzed two different scenarios by considering constant or variable initial reservoir level prior to extreme flood events. In order to achieve the global optimum configuration of MCLs for each season, we propose the joint optimization of three variables: minimize the maximum reservoir level (return period of 1000 years), minimize the maximum released outflow (return period of 500 years) and maximize the reservoir yield with 90% reliability. We applied the methodology to Riaño Dam, jointly operated for irrigation and flood control. Improvements in the maximum reservoir yield (with 90% reliability) increased up to 10.1% with respect to the currently supplied annual demand (545 hm3) for the same level of dam and downstream hydrological safety. The improvement could increase up to 26.8% when compared to deterministic procedures. Moreover, dam stakeholders can select from a set of Pareto-optimal configurations depending on if their main emphasis is to maintain/increase the hydrological safety, or rather to maintain/increase the reservoir yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Multi-Objective Optimization for Selecting and Siting the Cost-Effective BMPs by Coupling Revised GWLF Model and NSGAII Algorithm
Water 2020, 12(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010235 - 15 Jan 2020
Abstract
Best management practices (BMPs) are an effective way to control water pollution. However, identification of the optimal distribution and cost-effect of BMPs provides a great challenge for watershed policy makers. In this paper, a semi-distributed, low-data, and robust watershed model, the Revised Generalized [...] Read more.
Best management practices (BMPs) are an effective way to control water pollution. However, identification of the optimal distribution and cost-effect of BMPs provides a great challenge for watershed policy makers. In this paper, a semi-distributed, low-data, and robust watershed model, the Revised Generalized Watershed Loading Function (RGWLF), is improved by adding the pollutant attenuation process in the river channel and a bank filter strips reduction function. Three types of pollution control measures—point source wastewater treatment, bank filter strips, and converting farmland to forest—are considered, and the cost of each measure is determined. Furthermore, the RGWLF watershed model is coupled with a widely recognized multi-objective optimization algorithm, the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGAII), the combination of which is applied in the Luanhe watershed to search for spatial BMPs for dissolved nitrogen (DisN). Fifty scenarios were finally selected from numerous possibilities and the results indicate that, at a minimum cost of 9.09 × 107 yuan, the DisN load is 3.1 × 107 kg and, at a maximum cost of 1.77 × 108 yuan, the total dissolved nitrogen load is 1.31 × 107 kg; with the no-measures scenario, the DisN load is 4.05 × 107 kg. This BMP optimization model system could assist decision-makers in determining a scientifically comprehensive plan to realize cost-effective goals for the watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Pump Efficiency Analysis for Proper Energy Assessment in Optimization of Water Supply Systems
Water 2020, 12(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010132 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Water supply systems need to be designed accounting for both construction and operational costs. When the installation requires water pumping, it is key for the operational costs to know how well the pump can perform. So far, pump efficiency has been considered using [...] Read more.
Water supply systems need to be designed accounting for both construction and operational costs. When the installation requires water pumping, it is key for the operational costs to know how well the pump can perform. So far, pump efficiency has been considered using conservative values, in the absence of a better estimation. The aim of this paper was to improve determining the energy costs by clarifying what the value of the pump performance should be. For this, 226 commercial pumps were studied, registering the efficiency at the optimum operating point, as well as other variables such as the flow rate, height, and pump type. As a result, a strong relationship between the pump performance and the discharge flow was spotted. That allowed the generation of an empirical curve, which can be used by designers to anticipate what pump efficiency can be expected. The results are used in a simple case study using the Granados Optimization System. These achievements can be implemented in design policies for a better energy assessment in the optimization of water supply systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Water Resource Accessibility in Southwest China
Water 2019, 11(8), 1708; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081708 - 16 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The accessibility, quantity, and quality of water resources are the basic requirements for guaranteeing water resource security. Research into regional water resource accessibility will contribute to improving regional water resource security and effective water resource management. In this study, we used a water [...] Read more.
The accessibility, quantity, and quality of water resources are the basic requirements for guaranteeing water resource security. Research into regional water resource accessibility will contribute to improving regional water resource security and effective water resource management. In this study, we used a water resource accessibility index model considering five spatial factors to evaluate the grid-scale water resource accessibility and constructed the spatial pattern of water resource accessibility in Southwest China. Then, we analyzed the coupling coordination degree between county-level water resource accessibility and eco-socio-economic water demand elements. The water resource accessibility showed obvious regional differences, and the overall trend gradually decreased from Southeast to Northwest. The coupling coordination degree between county-level water resource accessibility and eco-socio-economic water demand elements was between 0.26 and 0.84, and was relatively low overall, whereas the counties (districts) with high coordination, moderate coordination, low coordination, reluctant coordination, and incoordination accounted for 0.92%, 5.31%, 21.06%, 59.71%, and 13.00% of total counties (districts), respectively. Therefore, the Southwest region needs to further strengthen the construction of its agricultural irrigation facilities, protect the water resources, and coordinate the relationship between water resource management and water demand elements to comprehensively guarantee regional sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Necessity of Acknowledging Background Pollutants in Management and Assessment of Unique Basins
Water 2019, 11(5), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051103 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The limitations of water quality management and assessment methods in China can be ascertained by comparison with other countries. However, it is unreasonable to use a uniform standard to evaluate water quality throughout China because one standard cannot fully account for the regional [...] Read more.
The limitations of water quality management and assessment methods in China can be ascertained by comparison with other countries. However, it is unreasonable to use a uniform standard to evaluate water quality throughout China because one standard cannot fully account for the regional differences in background water quality. This study aimed to provide a basis for environmental water management decision-making. Areas seriously affected by background pollutants were identified by comparing several factors across 31 provinces in China. By coupling an improved export coefficient model (ECM) with a mechanistic model, a suitable pollutant yield coefficient was determined and its rationality was analysed. The export coefficient model was applied to estimate the pollutant (chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen) output of the basin in 2015. The spatial distribution characteristics of the pollutants were determined by simulating the pollutant outputs of 22 sub-basins and nine water function zones. For the year 2020, the simulation results of pollutant outputs far exceed the sewage discharge limit in water function zones and the pollutant concentration was much higher than the standard. Considering background pollutant outputs, more reasonable sewage discharge limit and water quality evaluation method are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Blue Water in Europe: Estimates of Current and Future Availability and Analysis of Uncertainty
Water 2019, 11(3), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030420 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
This study presents a regional assessment of future blue water availability in Europe under different assumptions. The baseline period (1960 to 1999) is compared to the near future (2020 to 2059) and the long-term future (2060 to 2099). Blue water availability is estimated [...] Read more.
This study presents a regional assessment of future blue water availability in Europe under different assumptions. The baseline period (1960 to 1999) is compared to the near future (2020 to 2059) and the long-term future (2060 to 2099). Blue water availability is estimated as the maximum amount of water supplied at a certain point of the river network that satisfies a defined demand, taking into account specified reliability requirements. Water availability is computed with the geospatial high-resolution Water Availability and Adaptation Policy Assessment (WAAPA) model. The WAAPA model definition for this study extends over 6 million km2 in Europe and considers almost 4000 sub-basins in Europe. The model takes into account 2300 reservoirs larger than 5 hm3, and the dataset of Hydro 1k with 1700 sub-basins. Hydrological scenarios for this study were taken from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Inter-Comparison Project and included simulations of five global climate models under different Representative Concentration Pathways scenarios. The choice of method is useful for evaluating large area regional studies that include high resolution on the systems´ characterization. The results highlight large uncertainties associated with a set of local water availability estimates across Europe. Climate model uncertainties for mean annual runoff and potential water availability were found to be higher than scenario uncertainties. Furthermore, the existing hydraulic infrastructure and its management have played an important role by decoupling water availability from hydrologic variability. This is observed for all climate models, the emissions scenarios considered, and for near and long-term future. The balance between water availability and withdrawals is threatened in some regions, such as the Mediterranean region. The results of this study contribute to defining potential challenges in water resource systems and regional risk areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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Open AccessCase Report
Assessing Inter-Administrative Cooperation in Urban Public Services: A Case Study of River Municipalities in the Internal Border Area between Aragon and Catalonia (Spain)
Water 2020, 12(9), 2505; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092505 - 08 Sep 2020
Abstract
The proper management of urban public services (UPS) ensures that a territory functions efficiently, since it guarantees optimal waste disposal, water supply, and the maintenance of communication infrastructure, among other things. In areas of high urban density located close to metropolitan cities, UPS [...] Read more.
The proper management of urban public services (UPS) ensures that a territory functions efficiently, since it guarantees optimal waste disposal, water supply, and the maintenance of communication infrastructure, among other things. In areas of high urban density located close to metropolitan cities, UPS are usually provided properly and efficiently. However, in less populated territories, lying in the periphery, significant problems and deficiencies are often encountered, being most evident in rural areas located on the administrative limits of a state or region. This paper seeks to analyze the management of UPS in the internal border area between two Spanish regions, Aragon and Catalonia. A total of 72 stakeholders (mayors and town clerks) from 49 river municipalities were involved in this study that employs a quantitative methodology (questionnaire). The perception that there are deficiencies to correct and a clear will to reach agreements and establish cooperation mechanisms is detected in many of the municipalities in the border area. A clear need to cooperate is also apparent in a series of priority UPS, including the promotion of river tourism, town access roads, urban collective passenger transport, and environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management Models for Policy Assessment)
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