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Figure 3: Water demand pattern by sectors in Castilla-La Mancha (INE, 2003).

In Figure 4 the urban demand by inhabitant is represented, as well as, the agricultural demand by unit of area. Consumption by inhabitant in CLM (around 100 m3 by inhabitant per year) shows an increasing tendency from 1996, with a small reduction in 2002. These values are lower than the average consumption by inhabitant of the European countries of the Mediterranean river basin that approximate 130 m3 per inhabitant per year. (EEA, 2003).

Figure 4: Progression of water demand in agriculture (m3 ha-1 year-1) and urban uses (m3 inhabitant-1 year-1).

Figure 4: Progression of water demand in agriculture (m3 ha-1 year-1) and urban uses (m3 inhabitant-1 year-1).

At the moment, the excess of agricultural demand is covered via greater utilization of groundwater. This practice has caused the Aquifers of 04.04 and 04.06 to be declared overexploited and with others at risk of being similarly declared. Although CLM has sufficient surface resources to cover the excess of agricultural demand and to avoid the exploitation of aquifers, they are devoted to use in bordering regions, as is the case of the Jùcar river basin and to a lesser extent that of the Segura.

Although the resources used by agriculture are over the allocations established in the Hydrological Plans, the average water volume applied by hectare of irrigated land is low, about 4,500 m3 ha"1 year"1 (INE, 2003), whereas the average endowment established by the Hydrological Plans is 3,700 m3 ha"1 year"1. The same study of the INE (2003) indicated that the average volume of water for irrigation by hectare applied in CLM is lower than the national average (5,200 m3 ha"1 year"1) (Figure 5).

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