Fundación IMDEA Agua (standing for Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies in Water) is a non-profit organization (NPO), legally established as a research foundation, with circa 40 full-time employees and based in Madrid (Spain). It gathers an interdisciplinary research team specialised in water economics and linking scientific knowledge to policy. This team is strengthened through its link with other institutions (academia, international organisations, etc.), as well as with the inputs from other working areas within the Foundation (biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, geologists, geographers, and other experts on the natural environment).

IMDEA has developed a research line on the economic valuation of biophysical flows of ecosystem services (both water and terrestrial natural systems), with emphasis on the estimation of the economic value of water provision for a wide range of final uses (drinking water and sanitation, irrigated agriculture, industrial uses, hydropower generation, etc.), pollution natural assimilation capacity in aquatic ecosystems, recreational fishing, carbon fixation in histosols (i.e. peat bogs) and biological diversity conservation. IMDEA also has a wide expertise on water scarcity and drought risk management, in particular, in Mediterranean and drought prone areas in Europe, Northern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central Asia, with strong links to climate change effects and how to enhance adaptation. IMDEA has developed work on economic policy instruments (EPIs) to induce individual decisions regarding water use in order to contribute to the collective goals of reducing vulnerability to scarcity and increasing aquatic ecosystem resilience to drought risk.

IMDEA leads WP3, Assessment Framework, responsible for drafting the AQUACROSS Assessment Framework integrating socio-ecological and economic analyses. In addition IMDEA contributes to the science-policy dialogue in WP1, Stakeholder Engagement and Communication, and to addressing synergies and operational policy barriers for the implementation of the EC Biodiversity Strategy in WP2, Policy Orientation. IMDEA also provides inputs regarding economic drivers and also outcomes from behavioural models that are critical to build the link between drivers and pressures in WP4, Drivers of Change and Pressures on Aquatic Ecosystems, and economic insights and ensure internal consistency in the discussion around resilience in WP5, Causalities between Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functions and Services. In WP6, Information Platform, IMDEA contributes to the identification of policy and end-user requirements on water data (mainly economic ones), information systems, and lessons learnt; also, in the development of ecosystem service indicators (mainly economic, but potentially others, as part of the linkage between WP3, and WP6). In WP7, Forecasting Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Provision, IMDEA provides economic inputs for the prospective analysis. Finally, in WP8, Ecosystem-based Management towards Policy Objectives, IMDEA contributes to the development of ecosystem-based management approaches and the identification of business opportunities for a wider uptake by end-users of the project’s outcomes.

Dr. Gonzalo Delacámara

Dr. Gonzalo Delacámara is a senior academic and water resources management specialist (PhD – MPhil). He is currently a Senior Research Fellow and Coordinator of the Department of Economic Analysis of Water at IMDEA Foundation. His main areas of research are related to economic analysis of biophysical flows of ecosystem services, economic analysis of aquatic ecosystems in areas subject to water scarcity and drought risk, and analysis of environmental policies. His current roles include water policy advisor to the EC DG ENV as part of the WFD CIS Working Groups on Economics and Water Accounts and to the European Parliament (2014-2018). He is also water policy advisor for the World Bank as part of the 2030 Water Resources Group (WB, IFC, WEF – 2013-2016) framework contracts in which he has led the hydroeconomic analysis of water investments. He was the Regional Coordinator for the Mediterranean at the DG ENV service contract on Integration of NWRM in RBMP and he also coordinated the economic valuation of ecosystem services in Spain. He is an international consultant on water and energy economics for UN agencies such as ECLAC, FAO, WHO-PAHO, UNDP (on the UNDP LAC Biodiversity initiative on the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems in economic growth and equity) and UNESCO, and international development banks (WB; IFC, IDB). Within a wide range of economic analysis assignments, he has worked on different studies to link water policy and macroeconomic performance in the EU (2013-2015), as part of the so-called European Semester. He has also coordinated the research team for the EU FP7 EPI-Water project (2011-2013) and also coordinates IMDEA’s contribution to the EIP-Water Action Group RiverRes and to the study for DG environment on maximising water reuse in the EU.

Dr. Carlos Mario Gómez

Dr. Carlos Mario Gómez is a tenured professor of Economic Analysis at the Universidad de Alcalá, a research associate at IMDEA, a visiting fellow at University of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall College (2013-2014) and Member of the Scientific Council of the Man & Biosphere MaB Spanish Committee of UNESCO (since 2008). Since 2000, he has led a sequence of competitive national and EU projects and has been involved in the economic analysis units commissioned to support the WFD CIS (i.e. Spanish Ministry of the Environment, EC WATECO former working group, and more recently within the context of the EC Freshwater Framework Contract for DG ENV). He has led the research team for EPI-Water, a EU FP7 project (2011-2013), where he led research on the economic assessment of environmental outcomes of economic policy instruments for water management or innovative economic instruments for drought and scarcity management. He has also led work on the economic valuation of water for the WWDR Report 4 (UNESCO), and on water trading and global scarcity. He is leading the socio-economic thematic issue at the EC DG Environment service contract on Integration of Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) in RBM project (2013-2014). As part of the Framework Contract on EU Freshwater Policy (2012-2016) he is a water policy advisor of the EC (DG Environment). He has also participated in the study about the link between water management and macroeconomic performance as part of the so-called European Semester. He also coordinates the SPADIS Action Group of the EIP Water, focusing on smart prices and insurances for water scarcity and drought risk management.

Marta Arenas

Marta Arenas. M.A. in Sustainable Development and CSR, MRes in Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation, BSc in Biology with additional training in evolutionary ecology. Marta is currently supporting research activities at IMDEA’s Water Economics Group. She has regional, national and international experience dealing with project developers, planning authorities, and the civil society in the field, including hydropower utilities and infrastructures around aquatic ecosystems. Marta is also familiar with acknowledging community, authorities and developers perspectives, through one-to-one or multilateral meetings. Balance and prioritization between operational and management issues, including building consensus with different stakeholders, are challenges she has faced over the last few years. Her strong point with regards to that experience is that she has worked both as a specialist on ESIA in the field and hand by hand with developers or authorities. Marta’s main contribution to AQUACROSS is to provide a complementary approach with her expertise assessing structure, functions and dynamics of natural systems.


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