A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
Inducing Water Conservation in Agriculture: Institutional and Behavioral Drivers

Inducing Water Conservation in Agriculture: Institutional and Behavioral Drivers

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(Theme Overview) Inducing Water Conservation in Agriculture: Institutional and Behavioral Drivers

Madhu Khanna and David Zilberman

Irrigated agriculture is a major user of surface and groundwater. The articles in this theme discuss the drivers of irrigation water management choices by farmers and the role that climatic conditions, public policies, institutions, and behavioral factors play in inducing water conservation and increasing water use efficiency in agriculture.

How Politics and Economics Affect Irrigation and Conservation

David Zilberman, Rebecca Taylor, Myung Eun Shim, and Ben Gordon

Political and economic considerations affect water development and irrigation expansion. Emphasis on economic growth has led to over-investment in agricultural irrigation, while public concerns about water scarcity and the environment lead to conservation. The California case examined here suggests that successful adoption of water conservation strategies requires public-private collaboration.

USDA Water Conservation Efforts Reflect Regional Differences

Steven Wallander

Federal national water conservation efforts, such as the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, take a technology-based approach that adjusts to important regional differences in water supply, climate, and crop choice.

Farmer Adoption of Water Management Practices in Response to Recurrent Drought

Ariel Dinar, Arisha Ashraf, and Julie Reints

We examine grower decision-making surrounding bundled water-saving strategies in Southern California using surveys of avocado growers and of mixed crop farmers. The adoption of bundled management strategies is determined by farm location, share of farm income from agricultural production, use of extension services, and demographic characteristics such as farmer age and education.

Applying Behavioral Insights to Improve Water Security

Paul Ferraro, Kent D. Messer, and Shang Wu

Behavioral insights may provide cost-effective ways to improve the performance and efficiency of agri-environmental programs. We highlight several insights that are well-grounded in theory and experiments from behavioral economics and psychology and describe how these insights might best be applied to solve water-security issues.