Economic valuation of water and willingness to pay analysis in tropical fruit production in South-Eastern Spain

J. Calatrava Leyva, S. Sayadi


This paper reports a survey of how 64 tropical fruit growers from the Granada coast of Spain use and value their water resources. This area produces crops of high added value. The agricultural demand for water is ever increasing and is much greater than the actual supply. This problem is worsened by the infiltration of seawater into the aquifers that provide most of the irrigation water for the area. Moreover, the population increases five-fold in the summer due to tourism, further aggravating the problem of water scarcity. Technical innovations, especially the reuse of urban wastewater, and economic solutions, namely increasing the price of water, have been proposed under the European Union Water Framework Directive. The main questions in the survey are described and the responses analysed. The productive, technological and resource management characteristics that determine the growers expressed willingness to pay for the water they use, as well as their attitude towards the use of alternative sources (such as residual water) are examined. Finally, the marginal product value of irrigation water in the area is calculated.


Spain; Fruit growing; Irrigation water; Water use; Water resources; Water availability; Economic value; Prices; Farm surveys

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2005031-121