Commons-Managed Aquifer Recharge System - Sierra Nevada, Spain
= "known as acequias de carreo"
"For more than a thousand years there has been an intricate system of channels, known as acequias de carreo, that is managed by a number of communities on the slopes of the mountain. Everyone has a small private reservoir that gets replenished weekly from the public system. My friends explained how there are catchments and water gates and a precise schedule for when someone goes to open and close the water to a particular section for an allocated time. Their part of the village gets the water for one hour weekly and the amount is more than enough for their needs.
This is an example of meticulous planning, managing, and monitoring. If someone breaches agreements, the community deals with it promptly. Most importantly, there are (or were) practically no externalities—the adverse effects of abusing the system couldn’t be “exported” far enough, and all potential risks have to stay internalized. The main flaw of the system is waste water that accumulates in a stinky pond down in the valley. This was less of a problem in the past, but nowadays with all the chemicals in products, it poses a threat and will have to be dealt with one way or another.
Commons like this have been in operation for millennia and yes, they have flaws and some tragedies happen too, but communities are learning how to avoid them. "