José A. Gómez-Limón y Almudena Gómez Ramos

Public opinion about the irrigated agriculture and its contribution on social welfare

The Water Framework Directive requires a public participation into the new water planning process. This paper develops an analysis of the public opinion about the irrigated agriculture in Castilla y León as a previous step for the design of an active and successful participation process. In order to do so, a survey has been conducted addressing environmental and social effects of irrigated agriculture and the different instruments available for public management of these agricultural systems. The results show how regional public opinion considers positively the irrigated agriculture because of its contributions to social welfare. However, it is thought that the budget burden required for the transformation and the maintenance of these kind of agricultural systems could be used more efficiently in other public policies. As a consequence, regional society refuses policies based on transforming new areas into irrigation. Opposite, it is demanded a more strict regulatory policy that minimizes its environmental impact in the region.

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