In this paper we analyze the conditions under which increasing technical efficiency of water use in the agricultural sector might not reduce water demand and pressures on water ecosystems. Departing from this basic problem we discuss how policy measures performed to enhance water productivity in the agriculture might be transformed into effective alternatives to improve the conservation of water resources and then guarantee the successful implementation of the Water Framework Directive. A preference revelation model is presented in the third section of the paper and one empirical application to an irrigation district in southern Spain is used in the fourth section to discuss the effectiveness of water savings measures.


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