The ten principles for a New Water Culture


  1. No flooding of river valleys and no drainage of river mouths, both home and sustenance for populations to whose identity they contributed;
  2. Conserve the rivers and the heritage that flourished alongside their courses through history, and deliver basic functions and attributes to rivers’ water;
  3. Manage water based on solidarity, as common heritage that we all – the present days generations – received and which we should transmit in the best conditions possible to the future generations;
  4. Preserve water quality by changing the lest possible natural systems, by reducing from the beginning contaminating charges and restricting the need for their treatment;
  5. Manage in a sustainable way the water resources, by confronting waste of water by means of saving, optimizing its efficient use and reuse;
  6. Establish a culture of participation and imagination able to yield the wise strategies of doing good at small scale and subsidiarity as obligatory principle of management;
  7. Live water having in view our reality as a Mediterranean country, reality which is restrictive and incompatible with the culture of a free good that prays the unlimited offer of water on public charges;
  8. Abandon the demagogic dialectic of false water’s productivity (especially regarding irrigation) and incorporate serious criteria of economic valuation and full integration of costs, in the scope of a sustainable management of development;
  9. Use surface und underground water as Unitarian resource having in mind that they are part of one unique cycle and that fighting the overexploitation of aquifers and their contamination is the best way we have to achieve such a joint utilization;
  10. Defend the concept of water as a public resource managed on behalf of the general interest, and avoid its commercialization and conversion into an object of speculation.

All these principles can be summed up by two:

  1. Manage water as a resource and conserve it as heritage
  2. Manage water by means of policies of demand control and not by increasing offer

Por Javier Martínez Gil, in “Propuestas para la gestión y el uso adecuado del agua”