Profiling Farmers’ Preferences about Drought Response Policies Using a Choice Experiment in the Okanagan Basin, Canada
Farmers can play a crucial role in water management during water shortages, yet little is known concerning the preferences of farmers for various options in drought response planning. In this paper we demonstrate the use of a discrete choice experiment to investigate the preferences of farmers about options for drought response policies in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada. In the choice experiment, three policy instruments were varied across possible drought response plans: mandatory reductions in water supply, reallocation of entitlements to available water, and opportunities for water trading. Results show that participating farmers, as a whole, were more likely to accept drought response plans with moderate levels of mandatory water reductions, water allocations according to the sensitivity of crops to water loss, and opportunities for water trading between farmers. When analyzed according to the primary crop cultivated, grape growers were more likely to prefer drought response plans with opportunities for water trading between all water users, whereas ranchers were more likely to prefer drought response plans that feature high levels of mandatory water reductions. We contrast our findings with preconceptions about farmers’ preferences concerning water use policies. We also discuss broader implications of the research, including the usefulness of choice experiments for informing the development of effective drought response policies.
KeywordsDrought response plans Discrete choice experiment Farmer preferences Water shortage Water trading Water allocation
The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Okanagan Basin Water Board, South East Kelowna Irrigation District, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, and BC Fruit Growers Association. Funding was provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Regional Adaptation Collaborative Program, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and the Agriculture Environment and Wildlife Fund.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Funding for the research was provided by the Natural Resources Canada’s Regional Adaptation Collaborative Program (Grant 11–010) and as an activity of the Agriculture Environment and Wildlife Fund component of the Agri-Food Futures Fund (Grant 11–022), funding for the latter is provided through the Canada-British Columbia Framework Agreement on Agricultural Risk Management. Additional funding was provided by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards and approval of Simon Fraser University (file 2011 s0575) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Alcon F, Tapsuwan S, Brouwer R, de Miguel MD (2014) Adoption of irrigation water policies to guarantee water supply: a choice experiment. Environ Sci Policy 44:226–236Google Scholar
- Beharry-Borg N, Smart JCR, Termansen M, Hubacek K (2012) Evaluating farmers’ likely participation in a payment programme for water quality protection in the UK uplands. Reg Environ Change 13:633–647Google Scholar
- Birol E, Karousakis K, Koundouri P (2008) Using a choice experiment to inform implementation of the European Union water framework directive: the case of Cheimaditida wetland in Greece. In: Birol E, Koundouri P (eds) Choice experiments informing environmental policy a European perspective. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 249–270Google Scholar
- Brandes OM, Nowlan L, Paris K (2008) Going with the flow? Evolving water allocations and the potential and limits of water markets in Canada. The Conference Board of Canada, OttawaGoogle Scholar
- British Columbia Ministry of Environment (2010a) British Columbia drought response plan. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
- British Columbia Ministry of Environment (2010b) British Columbia’s water act modernization: policy proposal on British Columbia’s new water sustainability act. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
- British Columbia Ministry of Environment (2010c) British Columbia’s water act modernization: report on engagement. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
- Broch SW, Strange N, Jacobsen JB, Wilson KA (2012) Farmers’ willingness to provide ecosystem services and effects of their spatial distribution. Ecol Econ 92:78–86Google Scholar
- Conrad SA (2012) Assessing the effectiveness of climate change adaptation policies: a survey of residential preferences. Simon Fraser University, Natural Resources Canada, BurnabyGoogle Scholar
- Conrad SA (2013) Assessing water use preferences to water conservation policy and implementation strategies. Simon Fraser University, Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
- Dillman D (2007) Mail and internet surveys: the tailored design method, 2nd edn. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., HobokenGoogle Scholar
- Fretwell R (2009) Irrigation water demand model: technical description. RHF Systems Ltd, KelownaGoogle Scholar
- He L, Horbulyk TM, Ali MK, et al (2012) Proportional water sharing vs. seniority-based allocation in the Bow River basin of Southern Alberta. Agric Water Manage 104:21–31Google Scholar
- Hrasko B, Bauer B, Geller D et al (2008) Okanagan sustainable water strategy: action plan 1.0. Okanagan Basin water board, KelownaGoogle Scholar
- Janmaat J (2010) Parrying water conflicts in the Okanagan: the potential of a water market. BC Studies: The British Columbian Quarterly, pp 21–44Google Scholar
- Janmaat J (2011) Drought impacts, irrigator attitudes, and the potential for water trading in the Okanagan. The University of British Columbia, KelownaGoogle Scholar
- Katayama A, Liu X, Musharrafiyeh H, et al (2009) Understanding farmers’ preferences for water policy design: an application of choice experiment to Portugal-Guadiana River basin. In: Koundouri P (ed) The use of economic valuation in environmental policy: providing research support for the implementation of EU water policy under AquaStress. Routledge, London, pp 45–71Google Scholar
- Koundouri P (2009) The use of economic valuation in environmental policy: providing research support for the implementation of EU water policy under AquaStress. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Kuhfeld WF (2010) Marketing research methods in SAS. SAS Institute Inc., CaryGoogle Scholar
- McFadden D (1974) Conditional logit analysis of qualitative choice behaviour. In: Zarembka P (ed) Frontiers in econometrics. Academic Press, New York, pp 105–142Google Scholar
- McNeill R (2004) Chapter 11: Costs of adaptation options. In: Cohen S, Neilsen D, Welbourn R (eds) Expanding the dialogue on climate Change & Water Management in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia. Environment Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and University of British Columbia, Victoria, pp 161–164Google Scholar
- Pereira LS, Oweis T, Zairi A (2002) Irrigation management under water scarcity. Agric Water Manage 57:175–206Google Scholar
- Schorb NC (2006) Agricultural Policy. In: Cohen S, Neale T (eds) Participatory integrated assessment of water management and climate change in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia. Environment Canada and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, pp 85–111Google Scholar
- Summit Environmental (2010) Okanagan water supply and demand project: phase 2 summary report. Okanagan Basin Water Board, KelownaGoogle Scholar
- Taylor B, Barton M (2004) Chapter 4. Climate. In: Cohen S, Neilsen D, Welbourn R (eds) Expanding the dialogue on climate Change & Water Management in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia. Environment Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and University of British Columbia, Victoria, pp 24–45Google Scholar
- Thacher J, Marsee M, Pitts H et al (2011) Assessing customer preferences and willingness to pay: a handbook for water utilities. Water Research Foundation, DenverGoogle Scholar
- Train KE (2009) Discrete choice methods with simulation. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Tregarthen TD (1983) Water in Colorado: fear and loathing of the marketplace. In: Anderson T (ed) Water rights. Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, San Francisco, pp 119–136Google Scholar
- Van der Gulik T, Neilsen D (2008) Agricultural Water Management in the Okanagan Basin. In: Canadian Water Resources Association (ed) One Watershed - One Water: Proceedings of a conference held in Kelowna, BC October 21 to 23, 2008. Canadian Water Resources Association, Nepean, pp 31–37Google Scholar
- Ward FA, Hurd BH, Rahmani T, Gollehon N (2006) Economic impacts of federal policy responses to drought in the Rio Grande Basin. Water Resour Res 42:W03420Google Scholar