Competing for water: golf courses in semi-arid regions. The case in Spain

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The proliferation of golf courses in tourist areas in the Mediterranean has increased water needs substantially. The objective of this paper is to model the political process associated with water distribution decision-making in water-scarce areas. This has been done by developing a pressure group model. Results allow the relative importance of pressure group size and the relationship between size and resources devoted to political lobbying to be characterized. Empirical analysis confirms results of the model with respect to lobbying activities of golf promoters. The relative size of the different groups involved plays a significant role in the efforts made for political pressure. Water deficit becomes a very relevant variable suggesting that in water-scarce scenarios lobbying activity will be more important.

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