Elhuyar Fundazioa - Basque Research

Elhuyar Fundazioa - Basque Research

URA- the Basque Water Agency, best water management for its transparency

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Source: Elhuyar Fundazioa - Basque Research

URA- the Basque Water Agency has received first prize from amongst all the water management agencies within the Spanish State, according to the country’s 2013 Index of Transparency for Water Management (INTRAG in its Spanish initials), drawn up by the Transparencia Internacional España body after measuring eighty indicators from fourteen Hydrographical Confederations and Water Agencies of the Autonomous Communities, the bodies responsible for hydrological administration within the State.

The Minister for the Environment and Land Policy of the Basque Government, Ana Oregi, believes that “the award is excellent news that encourages both URA and the rest of the Basque Government bodies and departments to carry on with the commitment to the public for undertaking a direct and effective management as is being demonstrated by the Basque Water Agency”. Ms. Oregi congratulated Mr. Iñigo Ansola, Director of URA and all his team “for the efforts being made in the management of the various activities linked to water management: the maintenance of water resources, the prevention of risk situations caused by adverse meteorology and, in general, maintaining the quality of water”.

INTRAG 2013 was drawn up by Transparencia Internacional España using eighty indicators. For this year’s report, the same fourteen bodies were consulted as in the two previous years: nine Hydrographical Confederations and five Water Agencies of the Autonomous Communities. According to those in charge of Intrag “the average level of transparency shown overall by the bodies evaluated was somewhat greater than in the previous year, obtaining an average value of 62.9 compared to the previous 59.6; in any case, this year’s rise was less than that in 2011 (this increase of 3.3 points compared to the previous rise of 8.4 points)”.

The first three bodies in the list show figures greater by more than 40 points compared to the last three in the ranking. The Basque Water Agency, with a score of 93.5 out of 100, obtained the first position in the ranking “reflecting a very substantial improvement on the previous year, when it occupied the eleventh position with a score of 50. Second place in INTRAG was maintained by the Hydrographical Confederation of Júcar, with a score of 81.8. The least transparent bodies, according to this Index, and as in last year’s list, were Waters of Galicia and the Balearic Islands Water Agency”.

Points awarded for each body evaluated (from 1 to 100)

  • URA- The Basque Water Agency 93.5
  • The Júcar Hydrographical Confederation 81.8
  • The Catalan Water Agency 81.3
  • The Andalusian Water Agency (S.G.A.) 71.4
  • The Hydrographical Confederation of the Ebro river 67.5
  • The Hydrographical Confederation of the Segura river 66.2
  • The Hydrographical Confederation of the Tajo river 63.6
  • The Hydrographical Confederation of the Duero river 62.3
  • The Hydrographical Confederation of the Guadalquivir river 58.4
  • The Hydrographical Confederation of the Miño-Sil river 58.4
  • The Hydrographical Confederation of the Guadiana river 53.2
  • The Cantabrian Hydrographical Confederation 45.5
  • Waters of Galicia 43.4
  • The Balearic Islands Water Agency / D.G.R.H. 33.8

According to the evaluators of Intrag 2013 “analysing the various areas of transparency, the black holes of information overall continue to be mainly in the economic-financial area of Water Management. On the contrary, information regarding planning processes, as well as information about the bodies themselves, is, in most cases, quite well covered. As regards information about relations with the public and other interested parties, as well as regards contracts and licitations, these are areas that, while presenting a certain degree of transparency, need improvement”.

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