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Factors Conditioning the Adoption of Water Conserving Techniques

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and the Environment Conference Proceedings, May 27-June 1, 2012, Bari, Italy  12-13696.(doi:10.13031/2013.41438)
Authors:   Mar Ortega-Reig, Marta García-Mollá, Guillermo Palau-Salvador, Llorenç Avellà
Keywords:   Irrigation, innovation adoption, institutions, organizational factors, irrigation technology

In the Jcar River Basin (JRB), located in eastern Spain, there is significant of competition over water resources, were agricultural demand represents 80% of total demand. Desalinated and treated waste water are being integrated in water management. In addition, public policies aiming at conserving water have been implemented, mainly for the transformation from furrow to drip irrigation. In order to understand the process of adoption of drip irrigation technologies and its implications interviews were conducted to farmers and members of the management boards of two irrigation communities, the Acequia Real del Jcar (ARJ) and the Canal Jcar-Turia (CJT). Preliminary results show drip irrigation has led to a more centralized water management and to a technification of the irrigation staff. The adoption of water conserving technologies at IC level has been promoted by the existing water policies. However at field level, farmers assume the cost of implementing this technology. One of the significant reasons to adopt drip irrigation at plot level was to be obliged by the IC. In addition, the water price factor impact on farmers water use was mentioned to be less significant than the price of the harvest. Furthermore, a significant increase on the price would result on significant levels of abandonment.

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