Júcar river basin pilot: Stakeholders validate REXUS project analysis, point to new directions for research

Júcar river basin pilot: Stakeholders validate REXUS project analysis, point to new directions for research

On Tuesday, Nov 29th, 2022, the first Learning and Action Alliance workshop in the REXUS Júcar River basin pilot took place with more than 20 local stakeholders representing water managers, local authorities, farmers cooperatives, research institutes, and other key institutions.

José Gonzalez Piqueras, REXUS Coordinator, UCLM, and Anna Osann, REXUS Scientific Coordinator, Agrisat, introduce the workshop.

The Júcar River basin is a smaller pilot within the broader Peninsular Spain pilot, one of the 5 REXUS pilot areas across Europe and Latin America where the project is deploying an innovative participatory approach to assist the shift from Nexus Thinking to Nexus Doing. Interconnections between the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems sectors are analysed, the impact of climate change and the potential of nature-based solutions are both integrated into Nexus analysis, while a suite of scientific tools are co-developed with stakeholders to enhance cross-sectoral cooperation.

The Júcar river basin pilot workshop brought together key local actors across sectors, including the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation, members from the Mediterranean Network of basin Organisations (MENBO), the Provincial Agronomic Technical Institute (ITAP), agricultural cooperatives, the Central Irrigation Board of La Mancha Oriental (JCRMO) and farmers. On behalf of the REXUS consortium, AgriSat Iberia SL, the University of Castilla la Mancha, ICatalist, Draxis, IRSA, and CIRCE contributed to the preparation and running of the meeting.


Participatory Mapping of key Nexus System variables

Applying the REXUS innovative participatory methodology, the REXUS team invited stakeholders to engage in an exercise mapping the key elements affecting, in their view, sustainable Nexus management.

Participants were handed custom-made cards to place on a map of the entire basin, the cards representing the five categories of elements of the socio-ecological-technological system: pressures, human activities, infrastructures, resources (both ecological and human), and ecosystem services.

Stakeholders ranked top among the pressures in the area phenomena relating to desertification, drought, salinization, floods, and erosion; also, the lack of coordination between administrations; conflicts over water resources; groundwater pollution; and overexploitation of aquifers.