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Academic and professional interest

The quality water to satisfy the human needs is an increasingly scarce resource and its possession is an essential factor for social and economic development. In the Mediterranean areas, the increasing accumulation of population together with a scarce rainfall and which is irregularly distributed in time, and together with limited superficial resources are resulting in the depletion and the hardly reversible deterioration of subterranean resources. At the same time, the consequences of climate change on water resources generate greater uncertainty about the situation.

Although there are many areas in Europe with an excess of water resources, a great part of the Union suffers a structural shortage of water, that is additionally highly threatened by contamination (over 20% of superficial resources). On the other hand, subterranean water provides around 65% of the overall potable water in Europe, exploiting excessively this resource that can cause important problems of contamination. The demand in Europe has also increased because of the increase of the number of irrigated farming areas, a 20% since 1985 in southern areas.

In relation to what happens in Spain, the farming use is a 68% of the water use and the 80% of the consumptive usages, similarly to what happens in the European Union. Likewise, it can be observed how the expectations related to the water demand in our country, as well as in the whole Union, are a clear increase of the requirements. Jointly with these traditional usages, new usages deriving from the minimum ecological flow of the fluvial medium and its environment, such as landscape and environmental services, and concurrently the demands for recreational and sporting usages.

In light of these increasing requirements, it must be pointed out that it is difficult to increase water availabilities. Firstly, there are physical limitations (rain, upwelling and pumping); secondly, increasing the availability results in the construction of expensive infrastructure works against which there can be a strong social opposition. Thirdly, it is possible to think about increasing the availability through unconventional resources such as desalination or recycling. At the same time, the consequences of climate change on water resources generate greater uncertainty about the situation.

The adoption of the Directive 2000/60/CE, known as Water Framework Directive, pointed out the need to implement integrated measures and policies for water resources management. Currently, in most regions in the world, water management is a challenge that must be addressed with urgency from a multidisciplinary perspective. This management is not only about qualitative aspects but also about the quantitative ones, proof of this is that the final goal of the DMA is to achieve the good environmental status of the water mass in 2015.

In this context, the interest for achieving a desirable balance between water supply and demand in the different territorial areas identifying the true priorities, the explanatory aspects and the action possibilities in each case increases. Adopting efficient strategies to optimise the general management of water resources in any geographical area, and that allow to alleviate the existing unbalances, taking into account both the conventional supply sources and the alternative ones, like sea water or desalinated salty water, or the water regenerated from urban treatment stations, is important.

Responding to these challenges requires to have professionals and researchers who know how to use multidisciplinary tools and instruments. This is an essential aspect to carry out the appropriate planning and organisation of the territory. Because of this, the proposed Master’s degree offers an integrated approach that includes environmental, economic and technical subjects, in order to train professionals and researchers to assume any responsibility in the field of water resources management both in private companies and in public entities.

The proposal of the Master’s Degree in Water Resources Management is also about addressing the European requests for creating postgraduate degrees that allow to acquire basic training in research techniques, as a previous step for obtaining the doctorate.

It is also meant to increase and diversify the current catalogue, specially in the Valencian Community, of technical and scientific training on Water Resources, for the great social demand that exists on this topic.

All this proves the importance of the Master’s degree in the autonomous, national and international, social and productive environments, and proves its academic, scientific and professional interest.

 
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