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Covenant of Mayors - Europe
News article16 February 2024

Mining for inspiration: Cox facing climate hazards

Tune into Episode 8 of our Podcast series on Adaptation to discover actions taken in Cox, Spain and how they engaged through the Covenant’s Policy Support Facility to help make flooding and drought cancel each other out.

cox planning water mitigation

Cox, a small town of 7,000 inhabitants located at the foot of a mountain range and surrounded by agricultural areas, faces the dual challenge of water shortages and flooding. These climate threats have led Cox to take proactive steps by joining the Covenant of Mayors Support Facility programme. 

In our latest podcast episode on adaptation, we discussed with Eefje Hendriks, Assistant Professor of Disaster Resilience and Humanitarian Assistance, and Juan Capeáns Amenedo, Senior Urban Economist, on the solution they developed with the Spanish municipality to ensure that floods and drought cancel each other out.

Water shortages in summer and extreme rainfall in winter

The town of Cox is suffering from climate change and has to cope with extreme weather events that require a balance between water scarcity and severe flooding. In summer, the scarcity of water forces the use of drinking water for land irrigation, which exacerbates the water shortage. In winter, on the other hand, the region experiences the “Danas” phenomenon, characterised by extreme winds and rainfall for 2 to 4 days leading to severe flooding, impacting infrastructure and citizens’ quality of life. 

Cox’s participation in the Policy Support Facility was a crucial step in identifying and implementing measures to mitigate these risks. Through this programme, Cox has decided to focus on the mountainous areas surrounding the municipality by strategically redirecting water and creating water basins to slow the flow to the sea. This strategy will reduce flooding and store water for dry summers.

Community engagement and collaboration

External support played a key role in Cox’s journey, acting as a valuable resource. Workshops became a platform for collaborative problem-solving, involving a wide range of stakeholders, including experts, provincial et regional officers, social organisations and representatives from the agricultural sector. Children and students were also actively involved in the project, contributing to tree-planting initiatives, and finding solutions. 

The words of Eefje and Juan highlight the importance of collaboration. 

“I would suggest to all these communities, all these municipalities to collaborate and find each other” Eefje Hendriks

 “The main solution to the problems of the municipalities was the term collaboration and this multi-level, multi-stakeholder collaboration was the enabler of many solutions found in these municipalities.“ Juan Capeáns Amenedo

Tune into our podcast for more! 

Listen to the full podcast episode to find out how the town of Cox is tackling climate change, water scarcity and severe flooding by involving multiple stakeholders, engaging its citizens, and using its mountain to find a sustainable water solution.


Publication date
16 February 2024