Isabel LOUPA RAMOS and Francisco NUNES CORREIA
Instituto Superior Técnico, DECivil, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049- 001 Lisboa, Portugal
Water resources are subject to increasing multiple pressures resulting from economic growth and increasing living standards. In the presence of water scarcity situations, allocations of the available resources have to be made parsimoniously. In this context, an important approach to water resource management aiming at water conservation is the “demand management” approach that focuses primarily on the reduction of consumer demand through the implementation of policies that include various measures that are able to reduce the pressure on water consumption. Based on the data available for Portugal presented by the responsible institutions and the consultation of experts and researchers, various scenarios were developed (Ramos and Correia, 2001) leading to the formulation of recommendations for demand management in agricultural water use. The results point out the difficulty in accessing adequate information, as well the uncertainties associated to evolution in Common Agricultural Policy (Ramos and Correia, 2002), global markets and climate change that may undermine any scenario approach. The study presented in this paper was undertaken in the framework of POLAGWAT research project dealing with the possible use of demand management policies for water use in irrigation in the Mediterranean countries.