The increased demand for water in Spain's Mediterranean region is caused by growing demand for irrigation, often illegal water diversions, and rapid urbanization, much of it linked to tourism. In 1998, the National Hydrological Plan (PHN) was presented a solution for the growing water demand. Central to the plan was the diversion of water from the Ebro Basin to other water scarce areas. The environmental and social impacts of this diversion, coupled with economic irregularities, led to major resistance against the project, especially in Aragon and Catalonia, regions with serious water problems. This opposition was supported by the scientific community as well as the European Parliament.

In March 2004, the diversion plans were dropped and alternative solutions were applied. The Foundation for a New Water Culture believes that the best alternatives to diversions are water management policies that include new approaches to urban zoning, modernising inefficient water supply and irrigation networks, and applying new desalination technologies and the reuse of water.

© Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua 2009