Policy and plural responsiveness taking constructive account of the ways in which Iranian farmers think about and behave in relation to water

Yazdanpanah M, Hayati D, Thompson M, Zamani GH, & Monfared N (2014). Policy and plural responsiveness taking constructive account of the ways in which Iranian farmers think about and behave in relation to water. Journal of Hydrology: 347-357. DOI:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.04.015.

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Abstract

Iran faces a serious and worsening water crisis, and water conservation by its farmers is rightly seen as crucial to any resolution. Whilst many farmers are profligate in their use of water, some are parsimonious: behavioural strategies vary and these strategies, we hypothesise, are accompanied by differing perceptions. These perceptions, we further hypothesise, are generated by the four different ways of organising -- individualism, hierarchy, egalitarianism and fatalism -- that are predicted by the theory of plural rationality. Informal guided interviews with 330 farmers in Boushehr Province support these hypotheses and show that both perceptions of and behaviour in relation to water are closely tied to the farmers. ways of organising which, in turn, are influenced by the socio-technological origin of their water: wells, irrigation canals, qanats. "Egalitarian" farmers are already behaving in the desired way; they are most prevalent among those who rely on wells. "Individualist" and "fatalist" farmers are profligate in their water use; they are most prevalent among those who rely on irrigation canals. The modern technology, we suggest, could be re-cast, in part, along the lines of the traditional qanat socio-technological system, so that water, at times and in places, is delivered as a common-pool good (egalitarianism) and not just in the current public good (hierarchy) or private good (individualism) modes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Myths of nature; Beliefs; Attitudes; Sense of responsibility; Risk perception; Water conservation
Research Programs: Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Bibliographic Reference: Journal of Hydrology; 514:347-357 (6 June 2014) (Published online 21 April 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 10:15
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10930

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