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Water 2019, 11(4), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040798

Sharing Reasoning Behind Individual Decisions to Invest in Joint Infrastructure

1
Water Resources Management (WRM) Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), University of Tasmania, Private Bag 98, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
3
Aequator Groen & Ruimte, P.O. Box 1171, 3840 BD Harderwijk, The Netherlands
4
Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University, P.O. Box 15200, FIN-00076 Aalto, Finland
5
Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Building 141, Linnaeus Way, ACT, Canberra 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Water Resources Management)
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Abstract

Development of joint irrigation infrastructure increasingly depends on investment decisions made by individual farmers. Farmers base their decisions to invest on their current knowledge and understanding. As irrigation infrastructure development is ultimately a group decision, it is beneficial if individuals have a common understanding of the various values at stake. Sharing the personal reasoning behind individual decisions is a promising approach to build such common understanding. This study demonstrates application of participatory crossover analysis at a workshop in Tasmania, Australia. The workshop gave farmers the opportunity to discuss their broader considerations in investment decisions, beyond just financial or monetary factors. It centered on the question, “In what conditions would you—the individual farmer—invest?” The participants’ willingness to pay, in the form of crossover points, was presented as a set of scenarios to start an explorative discussion between irrigators and non-irrigators. Evaluation feedback indicates that the workshop enabled participants to share new information, improved understanding of differences between neighbors, and generated more respect for others and their decisions. As expected, reasoning went beyond economic concerns, and changed over time. Lifestyle choices, long-term intergenerational planning, perceived risks, and intrinsic motivations emerged as factors influencing water valuation. Simply having a facilitated discussion about the reasons underlying individuals’ willingness to pay seems to be a useful tool for better informed decision-making about joint irrigation infrastructure, and is worth testing in further case studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: water valuation; participatory crossover analysis; irrigation; water resources management; willingness to pay (WTP) water valuation; participatory crossover analysis; irrigation; water resources management; willingness to pay (WTP)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Nikkels, M.J.; Guillaume, J.H.A.; Leith, P.; Hellegers, P.J.G.J. Sharing Reasoning Behind Individual Decisions to Invest in Joint Infrastructure. Water 2019, 11, 798.

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