5. Legal stocktake: Water pollution and usage 

Water is a strategic resource of economic, ecological and social importance in Andalusia (Junta de Andalucia, 2019[1]). Water consumption per capita is particularly high in Spain and Andalusia. The consumption is mainly driven by the agricultural sector. Regarding households, water consumption was 133 litres per inhabitant per day on average in 2020 in Andalusia, close to the national average (Estadística sobre el Suministro y Saneamiento del Agua, 2020[2]), but higher than the EU average of 124 litres per inhabitant per day (EurEau, 2021[3]). Although 89.7% of the regional population is connected to wastewater treatment, only 4.8% of treated wastewater is reused in Andalusia, below the national average of 11.2% (Official Association of Biologists of Andalusia, 2021[4]).

Regarding water pollution, the quality of surface water and groundwater is of great significance and is closely monitored in Andalusia. The quality is measured through the biological, hydromorphological, chemical and physical-chemical of water. The level of nitrates is one of the most relevant parameters to control water quality as it is closely related to the presence of fertilisers and wastewater discharges. Based on this parameter, the quality of surface water in Andalusia improved in 2019 as compared to 2018 as nitrate levels decreased in all hydraulic basins of the region, except in the Guadiana basin where levels remained stable and in the Guadalquivir basin where they increased (Junta de Andalucia, 2019[1]).

This chapter proposes possible opportunities for reform to Andalusia’s existing environmental tax system governing water pollution and usage. The proposed opportunities are derived from the analysis of the legal and policy framework governing water pollution and usage at the EU, national, and regional government levels and the analysis on the distribution of responsibilities in policy areas relevant to reducing water pollution and usage between the different levels of government (EU, national, regional and local). The key possibilities will be assessed against environmental tax policy principles in the economic analysis.

This section outlines the legal and policy instruments governing water pollution and usage at the EU, national, and regional levels. In doing so, it provides context on the policies, targets, and strategies in place for this environmental domain. This then serves as the basis for the subsequent section, 5.2, on the responsibilities across levels of government relating to water pollution and usage.

As part of the EU Green Deal (see Part II, Section 2.1.1), the EU Commission adopted the EU Action Plan “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil” (European Commission, 2021[5]). The Plan sets a zero pollution vision for 2050, with the aim to reduce air, water and soil pollution to levels no longer considered harmful to health and natural ecosystems. The Action Plan also sets 2030 targets to reduce pollution at source, of which the improvement of water quality by reducing waste, plastic litter at sea by 50% and microplastics released into the environment by 30%. The Plan includes several actions, which comprise the revision of the standards for the quality of water, including in EU rivers and seas. It also proposes a zero pollution hierarchy, integrating the precautionary principle and the polluter payer principle.

The EU Commission also adopted the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), on 23 October 2000, which determines Spain’s national water regulatory framework (European Commission, 2000[6]). The Directive was developed based on multiple international conventions on water protection and management, notably the United Nations Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution and its Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution. It currently forms the backbone of water management in Europe. The Directive was established to overcome fragmented water policies tackling specific water-related domains and to provide an integrated framework for the protection and sustainable use of water within the EU (art. 1). To this end, it proposes a new water governance framework, which prescribes river basin districts as the managerial units for water management, defines water quality levels to be pursued and specifies limits to water abstraction. The Directive also determines that Member States shall follow the “principle of recovery of the costs of water services, including environmental and resource costs associated with damage or negative impact on the aquatic environment should be taken into account in accordance with, in particular, the polluter-pays principle (art. 1)” (European Commission, 2000[6]). The EU Directives that are integrated into the Water Framework Directive are presented in the Box 5.1.The Water Framework Directive was transposed into national law via the Spanish Water law (Royal Legislative Decree 62/2003) (Gobierno de Espana, 2003[7]).

The requirements under the European Water Framework Directive have been completed by other EU regulations transposed (or to be transposed) into Spanish law:

  • The EU Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC) sets the quality standards required by art. 17 of the Water Framework Directive (European Commission, 2006[8]). This Directive establishes a regime that sets standards for groundwater quality and introduces measures to prevent and limit pollutants inputs into groundwater. The Directive has been transposed into Spanish law by Royal Decree 1514/2009 (Gobierno de Espana, 2009[9]).

  • The EU Environmental Quality Standards Directive (2008/105/EC) was developed to respond to art. 16 of the Water Framework Directive (Commission, 2008[10]). It also provides the list of priority (hazardous) substances described in the Water Framework Directive (updated again in Directive 2013/39/EC). The Directive has been transposed into Spanish law by Royal Decree 60/2011 (European Commission, 2021[11]).

  • The EU Water Reuse Regulation (2020/741) sets minimum requirements for water reuse for agricultural irrigation from 2023 in accordance with the Directive 91/271/EC (European Commission, 2020[12]). The Regulation was adopted as part of the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) adopted on 11 March 2020 (European Commission, 2020[13]). It sets (i) harmonised minimum water quality requirements for the safe re-usage of treated urban wastewaters in agricultural irrigation, (ii) harmonised minimum monitoring requirements, (iii) risk management provisions to assess and address health and environmental risks, (iv) permit requirements, and (v) transparency on water re-usage projects. As an EU regulation, the objectives set are directly legally binding for EU Member States and thus Spain, without the need to be transposed into national legislation (see Part II, Section 2).

In accordance with the European Water Framework Directive, the Spanish Water law (Royal Legislative Decree 1/2001, of July 20, 2001) determines river basin districts as the basic managerial units of Spanish water resources (Gobierno de Espana, 2003[7]). Each river basin district is managed by a River Basin Authority. These authorities are responsible for establishing water management plans, which include the assessment of the water resources, an order of preference between the different uses of water, specific environmental objectives and measures to achieve the objectives therein (see below). The plans are articulated through adaptive processes carried out through the continuous monitoring and reviewing of the current hydrological plan, which is updated every six years. These plans are currently on their third cycle, with the newest set of plans adopted for the 2022-2027 period (Ministerio para la Transicion Ecologica y el Reto Demografico, 2021[14]).

In July 2021, the Spanish government adopted the National Plan for Wastewater Treatment, Sanitation, Efficiency, Savings and Reuse (DSEAR Plan) as a governance tool for the third cycle of the river basin management plans. The objective of the DSEAR Plan is to incorporate improved procedures and working methodologies, aligned with the principles of the environmental transition and the demographic challenge, into the updated river basin management plans. The Plan highlights seven areas for improvement based on lessons learnt from the two previous river basin management planning cycles, including for the co-ordination and co-operation mechanisms between the different administrations involved in river basin districts’ management plans and to the economic and financial regime of water to adapt it to new challenges (Ministerio para la Transicion Ecologica y el Reto Demografico, 2021[15]).

The plans are co-ordinated at the national level following these steps: (i) the objectives and criteria for hydrological planning are set out in the Spanish Water Law and the Hydrological Planning Regulation (Decree 907/2007) (Andalucia, 2015[16]), and (ii) all hydrological plans are co-ordinated through the National Hydrological Plan, which harmonises all discrepancies and differences between basin districts. The National Hydrological Plan is elaborated through a participatory process involving the public sector and civil society. At the EU level, the hydrological plans are shared with the EU Commission, which publishes reports on the progress of implementation of the plans. This water management system implies that, although the central government establishes water-related levies (see below), they are managed and regulated by the river basin district authorities, who are ultimately responsible for determining their values in compliance with the Spanish Water law.

The Royal Decree 47/2022 on protecting waters against diffuse pollution produced by nitrates from agricultural sources was adopted in January 2022 and repealed Royal Decree 261/1996. It aimed to provide a stronger response to the problem of water diffuse pollution. The Royal Decree is based on the same instruments as the previous regulation, which include the designation of vulnerable areas, performance programs, monitoring programs and status reports. The Royal Decree also provides the possibility for River Basin Authorities to establish limits on new water concessions and other activities that may result in nitrate contamination (Gobierno de Espana, 2022[17]).

In line with the Spanish Water law, Andalusia adopted the Andalusian Water law on 30 July 2010 (law 9/2010), which establishes a set of environmental objectives and principles on the treatment of water as an exclusively economic resource (Junta de Andalucia, 2010[18]). The law regulates the responsibilities between the Autonomous Community of Andalusia and local governments with the aim to achieve water protection and sustainable water usage. More specifically, it regulates (i) the organisation of the river basin district authorities and their management plans, (i) water works of interest of the Community, (iii) the supply, sanitation and purification system of urban water use, (iv) the assessment and management of flood risks, (v) the revenue earmarked for infrastructure of the integral water cycle and public service provisions, as well as (vi) the system of penalties for non-compliance with the rules governing water use. The law applies to continental, transitional, coastal and ground water integrated in intraregional and interregional basin districts that pass in the Andalusian territory.

In addition, and in accordance with the Spanish Water Law, the Royal Decree 1620/2007 establishes the legal framework for the reuse of treated water in Andalusia. The Royal Decree includes a list of permitted uses according to specific quality criteria in its Annex I.A (e.g. watering of private gardens, irrigation of urban green areas, street cleaning, irrigation of crops with certain water application system), and of prohibited uses (e.g. human consumption, food industry, hospital facilities, fountains, or any other uses that may pose a risk on health or environment). It also guarantees quality control for the reuse of water (Gobierno de Espana, 2007[19]).

In 2020, in anticipation of the third cycle of hydrological plans covering the period from 2022 to 2027, the Andalusian government also launched the Andalusian Water Pact in 2020 (Junta de Andalucia, 2020[20]). The Pact established a participatory process in which public and private agents may discuss water-related issues to identify possible solutions. The approach focused on the investment priorities, the financial mechanisms and the governance systems of the autonomous communities.

The EU’s environmental responsibilities, as described above, are shared between the EU and Member States (art. 4) (European Union, 2012[21]). In the area of water, the EU has the ability to establish environmental policies, notably on water pollution. Art. 192 of the TFEU however stipulates that policies relative to the quantitative management of water resources or affecting the availability of these resources shall be adopted unanimously by the Council, after consultation of the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions (European Union, 2012[21]).

As for the above-mentioned domains, the distribution of responsibilities between the different levels of government in Spain is defined in the Constitution and the Statute of Andalusia. They are listed in Table 5.1. The Constitution grants exclusive responsibilities to the central government on the legislation, management, and concession of hydraulic resources, the public works of general interest and the basic legislation on environmental protection (art. 149) (Gobierno de Espana, 1978[22]). By contrast, the autonomous communities may assume responsibilities over projects of hydraulic uses, canals and irrigation of interest to the autonomous community, mineral and thermal waters, fishing in inland waters, shellfish and aquaculture, hunting and river fishing and the management of environmental protection (art. 148). Additionally, they can assume responsibilities in matters that may indirectly affect water resources, such as agriculture and livestock raising, woodlands and forestry and the promotion and planning of tourism within their territory (art. 148) (Gobierno de Espana, 1978[22]). The responsibilities related to water for local governments are set out in Andalusia’s Statute of Autonomy (Junta de Andalucia, 2007[23]).

As previously seen, river basins districts are the base unit of the institutional framework for terrestrial water management in Spain. The management structure of a river basin district depends on whether the basin falls entirely within the borders of an autonomous community (intraregional) or whether it crosses regional boundaries (interregional). An intraregional river basin is managed by an Autonomous Water Agency, which reports to the autonomous community’s regional government. By contrast, an interregional river basin is managed by a River Basin Authority that reports to the national Ministry of Environmental, Rural and Marine Affairs. The different bodies involved in terrestrial water management in Spain are described in Box 5.2.

There are currently six river basin districts in Andalusia (Figure 5.1), which may be changed by Royal Decree. The river basin districts of Tinto-Odiel-Piedras, Guadalete y Barbate (both referred to as “Antlantica Andalucia” in the Figure), and Mediterráneo, fall entirely within the territory of Andalusia and are managed by the Andalusian Water Administration under the Andalusian Water law (9/2010) (art. 97 to 99) (Junta de Andalucia, 2010[18]). The river basin districts of Guadalquivir, Guadiana, and Segura are interregional (or international, i.e. shared with Portugal in the case of Guadiana) basins and are thus managed by a River Basin Authority (Gobierno de Espana, 2007[24]).

The Spanish Water law (29/1985), repealed by Royal Decree 1/2001 and consolidated in law 62/2003, established five levies related to water at the national level in Spain (Gobierno de Espana, 1985[26]; Gobierno de Espana, 2001[27]; Gobierno de Espana, 2003[7]). In the case of interregional river basin districts, the below levies are managed and collected by the competent river basin authority or by the central government's tax administration in case of a previous agreement. In the latter, the river basin authority will share the pertinent data and information with the State Tax Administration Agency, which will collect the tax and make it available to the river basin authority.

The fee for the use of a public hydraulic domain (art. 112): concessionaires and authorised persons are charged a fee for the use or occupation of a public hydraulic domain that requires administrative authorisation1. The fee corresponds to: (i) 5% of the market value of the land in case of occupation of land of the public hydraulic domain, (ii) 5% of the value of the use or benefit from the use of the hydraulic domain in case of use of the domain, or (iii) 100% of the value of the materials consumed in case of use of the assets of the hydraulic domain. It aims to finance the protection and improvement of the public hydraulic domain (Gobierno de Espana, 2001[28]).

The hydroelectric development fee (art. 112 bis): the holders of a hydroelectric exploitation are charged a fee for the use and exploitation of the public hydraulic domain for hydroelectric development purposes. The fee corresponds to the economic value of the hydroelectric energy produced by the holder of a hydroelectric exploitation for the use and exploitation of the public hydraulic domain, measured in plant bars, and declared by the holder in a self-assessment. It aims to finance the protection and improvement of the public hydraulic domain (Gobierno de Espana, 2001[28]).

The pollution control fee (art 113): the persons who carry out discharges into the public hydraulic domain are charged a fee. The fee corresponds to the volume of discharge authorised multiplied by the unit price for discharge control. The unit price is the basic price (i.e. EUR 0.01751 per m3 for urban waste-water and EUR 0.04377 per m3 for industrial wastewater) multiplied by a coefficient of increase or reduction, which is established by regulation depending of the nature of the pollution from the discharge. The fee aims to finance the assessment, control, protection and enhancement of the river basin district where pollution is emitted. When a taxable person of the pollution control fee also has to pay other taxes related to the protection, improvement and control of the river basin district, the amount of these taxes may be deducted from the amount of the pollution control fee (Gobierno de Espana, 2001[28])

The regulation fee (art. 114): the persons benefitting from surface water or groundwater regulation works2, financed wholly or partially by the central government, are charged a fee to compensate the costs related to the building, operations and maintenance of these works. The fee corresponds to the sum of the expected operation and maintenance costs of the works carried out, the administrative costs related to the works and 4% of the value of the investments made by the central government (Gobierno de Espana, 2001[28]).

The water use tariff (art. 114): the persons benefitting from other hydraulic works than those falling under the regulation fee (e.g. works to correct the deterioration of the public hydraulic domain) are charged a tariff to finance the investment, operation and maintenance costs of these works. The fee is calculated in the same way as the regulation fee (see above) (Gobierno de Espana, 2001[28])

National regulation also allows for the possibility of establishing the below levies: 

The irrigation charges: irrigation water users of the same water concession are charged to finance the construction, maintenance and improvement of irrigation infrastructure in the Community3 (Royal Decree 849/1986) (art. 198 to 231) (Gobierno de Espana, 1986[29]). These charges are regulated by each Irrigation Community (Gobierno de Espana, 2003[7]).

The amortisation rate and operating rate of water companies: the rates are applied to compensate water companies for their costs associated with the investment, operation, and maintenance of hydraulic infrastructures. The contributions are paid by the River Basin Authority under the terms defined in an agreement between the water company and the River Basin Authority, which is regulated under the Spanish Water law (art. 126) (Gobierno de Espana, 2003[7]).

The fee for the occupation and use of the public maritime-terrestrial domain: fee established to compensate the costs associated with the protection and enhancement of the maritime-terrestrial domain (Coastal Law 22/1988) (art. 84) (Gobierno de Espana, 1988[30]). The fee is regulated under the Order of 30 October 1992.

The Autonomous Community of Andalusia created additional water-related levies. The Water law of Andalusia (9/2010) (Junta de Andalucia, 2010[18]) established the following:

  • Improvement fee (art. 72-78): the taxable matter is the urban use of water from any sources, whether supplied by public or private supply networks. The fee applies to water users (i.e. the holder of water supply contracts). If the users hold different water supply contracts, the fee shall apply on each of the contracts. The tax base is the volume of water invoiced by the water supply companies (expressed in cubic metres). The fee is levied through two modalities: (i) a regional fee (art.79 to 90) and (ii) a local fee (art. 91 to 96) It aims to finance hydraulic infrastructures for the provision of water supply, sewage, and wastewater treatment services. (Junta de Andalucia, 2010[18]). The fee accounted for a small share of tax revenue in Andalusia in 2020 (close to 1%) (Ministerio de Hacienda y Funcion Publica, 2022[31]). Under the Andalusian Decree-law 7/2022, this fee has been suspended temporarily from January 1st to December 31st 2023 in order to mitigate the effects of inflation on households and industries (Junta de Andalucia, 2022[32]).

  • General services fee (art. 114): the aim of the fee is to cover administrative expenses of the Andalusian Water Administration to guarantee the proper use and conservation of water (Junta de Andalucia, 2010[18]). This fee still remain to be implemented (Adame Martínez, 2020[33]).

Andalusia established another levy, which is regulated under the Andalusian Law 18/2003 on fiscal and administrative measures (Junta de Andalucia, 2003[34]):

  • Tax on discharges into coastal waters (art. 39 to 55): the taxable matter is the discharge to coastal waters, which is carried out from land to any maritime-terrestrial public domain or to its area of protection. The tax is levied on the persons who carry out discharges into the maritime-terrestrial public domain. The tax base is the amount of the pollutant load of the discharge, which is equal to the sum of the polluting units. The polluting units of each parameter of the discharge (established in Annex I of the law) are the discharge flow (in thousand m3 per year) multiplied by the value of a parameter, divided by a reference value in accordance with the Annex I of the law. The aim of the tax is to promote the good chemical and ecological status of coastal waters (Junta de Andalucia, 2003[34]). The tax represented a negligible amount of revenue in Andalusia in 2020.

Finally, municipalities may establish fees under the Urban Water Supply Regulation (Decree 120/1991) (art. 94 to 104) (Junta de Andalucia, 1991[35]):

  • Municipal fees for the provision of water supply, sewage, and wastewater treatment services: municipalities may establish fees related to the provision of water supply, sewage and wastewater treatment services. The fees are levied on users of drinking water, sewerage and wastewater treatment services in a given municipality. They may consist of a fixed part per user and/or a variable part depending on the volume of water invoiced (in m3). Several types of use may be identified (i.e. domestic, commercial, industrial, official bodies and other uses). The fees aim to compensate the local water supply company for the operating costs associated with the provision of urban water services (e.g. supply of drinking water, sewage and wastewater treatment). The municipality is responsible for developing the specific regulation of each fee. Special surcharges may also be established for operations other than water supply, connection supply, service connection charges, contracting fees, charges for the financing of infrastructure, deposits and specific services (Junta de Andalucia, 1991[35])

A list of existing water-related levies in Spain, including those levied by the autonomous communities, is provided in Table 5.2.4 The levies are structured according to their domain (i.e. freshwater or maritime) and category (i.e. water abstraction, water usage and water pollution).  

The below table presents different water-related levies that exist among the autonomous communities in Spain (at the exception of Navarra and the Basque Country) (Table 5.3).

This section identifies some opportunities to reform the environmental taxation related to fresh water pollution and usage in Andalusia. It is structured as follow: (i) water abstraction, with a focus on the agricultural, industrial and tourism sectors, (ii) water usage, with a focus on the agricultural, industrial and tourism sectors, and (iii) water pollution, focusing on taxes related to the use of fertilisers and pesticides. As for the chapter on GHG emissions and air pollution, it also includes opportunities at the national level, which may improve environmental outcomes in Andalusia. The opportunities presented result from the analysis of the legal framework, the responsibilities mapping and the existing levies in Spain as discussed in the precious section. A selection of these opportunities will be further analysed from an economic perspective in Activity 1.3 of the report. Case studies on the use of such instruments in other countries and Spanish regions will also be included. Where relevant this discussion looks at related aspects such as distributional consequences and health.

Improvements in taxation related to water abstraction for agricultural and industrial purposes represent important possibilities of reform in Andalusia. The main possibility identified at the regional level is the creation of an Andalusian levy for water abstraction. Additional opportunities exist at the national level, which are presented below. The White Book for Tax Reform in Spain also provides recommendations on taxation related to water abstraction in Spain (Box 5.3).

The current levies related to water abstraction do not reflect the environmental costs of this activity. The entities abstracting water only pay for water abstraction concessions granted by River Basin Authorities, regardless of the volume of water abstracted (Greenpeace, 2019[36]). The levies are associated to the use of exploitation sources of water (e.g. fee for the use of public hydraulic goods) and hydraulic infrastructure (e.g. irrigation charges).

Irrigation charges determined by Communities often do not consider the environmental costs of water abstraction. Most Communities only consider the compensation required for developing and maintaining irrigation infrastructure in their charges (Fuentes, 2011[37])

The central government has the opportunity to create a legal provision for enabling River Basin Authorities to develop mechanisms able to incentivise sustainable groundwater abstraction for Communities (e.g. charge on groundwater abstraction to users in Communities abstracting water persistently above a sustainable level) (Fuentes, 2011[37])

There is no tourism tax that integrates the environmental cost of touristic activities. Such a tax at the regional level could cover all water-related environmental costs emerging from touristic activities. The tourism tax could be considered horizontal and incorporate several criteria related to water and waste for example.

Most of the current mechanisms for limiting the use of fertilisers and pesticides are associated with (i) water quality standards, (ii) the limits to the use of pesticides and fertilisers and (iii) the bans on specific chemicals. The Spanish Constitution allows Andalusia to implement stricter water quality standards within its territory. The White Book for Tax Reform in Spain also made a recommendation on taxation related to water pollution (Box 5.3).

The EU provides a wide range of water quality standards regulations, which have been translated into Spanish law, granting the autonomous communities the power to develop programs to prevent and mitigate water pollution. Many of these standards concern pollutants strictly associated with agricultural activities (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus). 

A national tax on the manufacturing or importation of pesticides and fertilisers could be established. This tax could be accompanied by public campaigns to raise awareness on the risks associated with these chemicals and the benefits of adopting more sustainable agricultural practices. The revenue from the tax could be used to compensate farmers switching to more sustainable agricultural practices (Adame Martínez, 2020[33])

Other experts have suggested be to link water concessions for water abstraction by Irrigation Communities to water quality standards by amending the Spanish Water law (Greenpeace, 2019[36]; Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico, 2020[38]). Successful cases of taxes on the manufacturing and importation of fertilisers and pesticides exist in Norway and Sweden (Adame Martínez, 2020[33]; Gago et al., 2006[39])


[25] Absolute Axarquia (n.d.), Rivers of Andalucia, https://www.absoluteaxarquia.com/andalucia/rivers-andalucia/.

[33] Adame Martínez, F. (2020), Análisis desde la perspectiva ambiental de la tributación de la Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía en el entorno de las restantes Comunidades Autónomas y la Unión Europea, Fundación Pública Andaluza Instituto de Estudios sobre la Hacienda, https://www.iehpa.es/assets/files/repositorios_digitales/-1618503944_es-res.pdf (accessed on 15 February 2022).

[16] Andalucia, J. (2015), Demarcación Hidrográfica del Guadalete-Barbate: Revisión de tercer ciclo (2021-2027).

[40] Comité de personas expertas (2022), Libro Blanco Sobre la Reforma Tributaria.

[10] Commission, E. (2008), Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

[2] Estadística sobre el Suministro y Saneamiento del Agua (2020), El consumo medio de agua de los hogares fue de 133 litros por habitante y día, un 2,2% menos que en 2016.

[3] EurEau (2021), Europe’s Water in Figures.

[5] European Commission (2021), Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All EU Action Plan: ’Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’.

[11] European Commission (2021), Regulation (EU) 2019/631 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 setting CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 443/2009 and (EU) No 510/2011.

[13] European Commission (2020), Circular Economy Action Plan.

[12] European Commission (2020), Regulation (EU) 2020/741 of the European Parliament and of the council of 25 May 2020 on minimum requirements for water reuse.

[8] European Commission (2006), Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration.

[6] European Commission (2000), Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.

[21] European Union (2012), Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

[37] Fuentes, A. (2011), “Policies Towards a Sustainable Use of Water in Spain”, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 840, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/5kgj3l0ggczt-en.

[39] Gago, A. et al. (2006), Environmental Taxes in Spain: A Missed Opportunity.

[17] Gobierno de Espana (2022), Real Decreto 47/2022, de 18 de enero, sobre protección de las aguas contra la contaminación difusa producida por los nitratos procedentes de fuentes agrarias.

[9] Gobierno de Espana (2009), Real Decreto 1514/2009, de 2 de octubre, por el que se regula la protección de las aguas subterráneas contra la contaminación y el deterioro.

[24] Gobierno de Espana (2007), Real Decreto 125/2007, de 2 de febrero, por el que se fija el ámbito territorial de las demarcaciones hidrográficas.

[19] Gobierno de Espana (2007), Real Decreto 1620/2007, de 7 de diciembre, por el que se establece el régimen jurídico de la reutilización de las aguas depuradas.

[7] Gobierno de Espana (2003), Ley 62/2003, de 30 de diciembre, de medidas fiscales, administrativas y del orden social.

[27] Gobierno de Espana (2001), Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2001, de 20 de julio, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley de Aguas.

[28] Gobierno de Espana (2001), Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2001, de 20 de julio, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley de Aguas.

[30] Gobierno de Espana (1988), Ley 22/1988, de 28 de julio, de Costas.

[29] Gobierno de Espana (1986), Real Decreto 849/1986, de 11 de abril, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento del Dominio Público Hidráulico, que desarrolla los títulos preliminar I, IV, V, VI y VII de la Ley 29/1985, de 2 de agosto, de Aguas.

[26] Gobierno de Espana (1985), Ley 29/1985, de 2 de agosto, de Aguas.

[22] Gobierno de Espana (1978), The Spanish Constitution.

[36] Greenpeace (2019), Propuestas de fiscalidad ambiental: avanzando hacia un mundo más justo y sostenible.

[32] Junta de Andalucia (2022), Decreto-ley 7/2022, de 20 de septiembre, por el que se modifica la Ley 5/2021, de 20 de octubre, de Tributos Cedidos de la Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía.

[20] Junta de Andalucia (2020), Pacto Andaluz por el Agua.

[1] Junta de Andalucia (2019), Informe de Medio Ambiente en Andalucía.

[18] Junta de Andalucia (2010), Ley 9/2010, de 30 de julio, de Aguas para Andalucía.

[23] Junta de Andalucia (2007), Organic law 2/2007 dated 19 March 2007 on Reform of the Statute of Autonomy for Andalusia.

[34] Junta de Andalucia (2003), Ley 18/2003, de 29 de diciembre, por la que se aprueban medidas fiscales y administrativas.

[35] Junta de Andalucia (1991), Decreto 120/1991, de 11 de junio, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento del Suministro Domiciliario de Agua.

[31] Ministerio de Hacienda y Funcion Publica (2022), Autonomous Community Funding.

[15] Ministerio para la Transicion Ecologica y el Reto Demografico (2021), National Plan for Wastewater Treatment, Sanitation, Efficiency, Savings and Reuse.

[14] Ministerio para la Transicion Ecologica y el Reto Demografico (2021), Sintesis de los borradores de planes hidrologicos de las demarcaciones hidrograficas intercomunitarias (2022-2027).

[38] Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico (2020), Libro Verde de la Gobernanza del Agua en España, https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/agua/temas/sistema-espaniol-gestion-agua/libro-verde-gobernanza-agua_tcm30-517206.pdf (accessed on 15 February 2022).

[4] Official Association of Biologists of Andalusia (2021), Andalucía reutiliza 4,8% de su agua residual tratada, por debajo de la media.


← 1. The hydraulic public domain (Dominio Publico Hidraulico, DPH) refers to inland surface and underground waters, the channel of continuous or discontinuous natural currents, beds of reservoirs and lakes. Marine waters are not included in the hydraulic public domain. Administrative authorisation is required for the use of the hydraulic public domain when the objective is to carry out works, to plant or cut vegetation, to navigate, to extract aggregates, to establish bridges, piers, etc. (Gobierno de Espana, 2001[28]).

← 2. Regulation works or canalisations are systems of water conduction, channels and natural or artificial reservoirs.

← 3. A Community refers to all the users of the water and other goods of public hydraulic domains from the same intake or concession. It has been established and regulated by art. 81 of the Spanish Water law (Gobierno de Espana, 2003[7]). Their establishment is compulsory. Communities are governing bodies with their own Statutes and Ordinances, drafted and approved by themselves and then by the River Basin Authority, which can only refuse their approval or introduce variants. There are different categories of Communities based on their use (e.g. irrigation, water supply, industrial). They can be surface or groundwater. If the concession of the waters involves several intakes, the Basin River Authority shall determine whether all the users are to be integrated in one Community or several independent Communities.

← 4. The full description of water-related taxes (e.g. taxable matter, payers, destination) in Andalusia is available at the following link: https://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/portal/areas-tematicas/agua/gestion-del-agua/recuperacion-de-costes/tarifas-y-canones-uso-agua-dominio-publico-hidraulico-dph-y-dominio-publico-maritimo-terrestre-dpmt.

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