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EPI-Water’s researcher and partner leader, Carlos M. Gómez (IMDEA ), participated in the XIII th Congress of the European Association of Agricultural Economists in Zurich “ Change and Uncertainty; Challenges for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources ” (August 30 th – September 2 nd , 2011). The presentation title was “Enhancing Irrigation Efficiency but Increasing Water Use: The Jevons’ Paradox” and was delivered in the session on “ The Economics of Irrigation ”.

Carlos Mario introduced the topic in the context of the use of economic instruments (EPIs) for water management. EPIs (as means of modifying incentives) are essential to coordinate private decisions (such as those concerning water use after the upgrading of irrigation systems) with collective objectives (such as reducing water scarcity and increasing resilience to drought).

During his presentation, Carlos M. analysed the conditions under which increasing technical efficiency of water use in the agricultural sector might not reduce water demand and pressures on water ecosystems. Departing from this ba sic problem, he discussed how policy measures performed to enhance water productivity in agriculture might be transformed into effective alternatives to improve the conservation of water resources and thereby guarantee the successful implementation of the Water Framework Directive. A preference revelation model was presented as well as an empirical application to an irrigation district in Northern Spain, which was used to discuss the effectiveness of water saving measures.