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Article

Effects of Community Perceptions and Institutional Capacity on Smallholder Farmers’ Responses to Water Scarcity: Evidence from Arid Northwestern China

1
Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Vernon, TX 76384, USA
2
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020483
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
Community contextual factors including community perceptions and institutional capacity are among the key determinants in community-based water resource management. The Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework proposed by Ostrom is commonly employed to examine the outcome of common-pool resource management including water resources. However, community perceptions typically examined in behavioral economics and comparative community analysis literature are rarely incorporated in institutional analysis studies. This study draws on the IAD framework to investigate smallholder farmer communities’ responses to water scarcity in arid northwestern China. Adopting alternating multiple regression and multivariate regression models, this study conducts an empirical analysis using farmer survey data. The results show that the perceptions of water scarcity promote community actions in coping with water shortage. The perception of production risks encourages overall community responses, as well as farming- and irrigation-related responses. Communities with a stronger institutional enforcement are more responsive in taking farming-, irrigation-, and infrastructure-related actions, as well as having better overall responses. The analysis also shows that community interactional capacities and socio-economic factors may influence community actions to mitigate and adapt to adverse effects of local water scarcity. Our findings provide insights for understanding social and institutional aspects of rural farming communities toward sustainable response decisions to overcome water scarcity challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: community perception; community responsiveness; institutional capacity; smallholder farmer; water scarcity; northwestern China community perception; community responsiveness; institutional capacity; smallholder farmer; water scarcity; northwestern China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fan, Y.; Tang, Z.; Park, S.C. Effects of Community Perceptions and Institutional Capacity on Smallholder Farmers’ Responses to Water Scarcity: Evidence from Arid Northwestern China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 483. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020483

AMA Style

Fan Y, Tang Z, Park SC. Effects of Community Perceptions and Institutional Capacity on Smallholder Farmers’ Responses to Water Scarcity: Evidence from Arid Northwestern China. Sustainability. 2019; 11(2):483. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020483

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fan, Yubing, Zeng Tang, and Seong C. Park. 2019. "Effects of Community Perceptions and Institutional Capacity on Smallholder Farmers’ Responses to Water Scarcity: Evidence from Arid Northwestern China" Sustainability 11, no. 2: 483. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020483

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