Profiling Farmers’ Preferences about Drought Response Policies Using a Choice Experiment in the Okanagan Basin, Canada

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    SAS 9.3 was used to produce an orthogonal main effects design with minimal overlapping of attribute levels (Street et al. 2005; Kuhfeld 2010), reported as being optimally balanced with 100% D-efficiency.

References

  1. 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 44:226–236

  2. 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 13:633–647

  3. Birol E, Koundouri P (2008) Choice experiments informing environmental policy a European perspective. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham

    Google Scholar 

  4. 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 249–270

  5. Bjornlund H (2006) Can water markets assist irrigators managing increased supply risk? Some Australian experiences. Water Int 31:221–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 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, Ottawa

  7. British Columbia Ministry of Environment (2010a) British Columbia drought response plan. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Victoria

  8. 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, Victoria

  9. British Columbia Ministry of Environment (2010c) British Columbia’s water act modernization: report on engagement. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Victoria

  10. Broch SW, Vedel SE (2011) Using choice experiments to investigate the policy relevance of heterogeneity in farmer Agri-environmental contract preferences. Environ Resour Econ 51:561–581

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Broch SW, Strange N, Jacobsen JB, Wilson KA (2012) Farmers’ willingness to provide ecosystem services and effects of their spatial distribution. Ecol Econ 92:78–86

  12. Brouwer R, Job FC, van der Kroon B, Johnston R (2015) Comparing willingness to pay for improved drinking-water quality using stated preference methods in rural and urban Kenya. Appl Health Econ Health Policy 13:81–94

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Campos JNB, Studart TMC (2006) Water management and allocation in semiarid areas of Brazil. Water Int 31:31–36

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Conrad SA (2012) Assessing the effectiveness of climate change adaptation policies: a survey of residential preferences. Simon Fraser University, Natural Resources Canada, Burnaby

    Google Scholar 

  15. Conrad SA (2013) Assessing water use preferences to water conservation policy and implementation strategies. Simon Fraser University, Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, Victoria

    Google Scholar 

  16. Dillman D (2007) Mail and internet surveys: the tailored design method, 2nd edn. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken

    Google Scholar 

  17. Dinar A, Mody J (2004) Irrigation water management policies: allocation and pricing principles and implementation experience. Nat Res Forum 28:112–122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Dridi C, Khanna M (2005) Irrigation technology adoption and gains from water trading under asymmetric information. Am J Agric Econ 87:289–301

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Easter KW, Rosegrant MW, Dinar A (1998) Markets for water: potential and performance. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston

    Google Scholar 

  20. Estrela T, Vargas E (2012) Drought management plans in the European Union. The case of Spain. Water Resour Manag 26:1537–1553

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Fereres E, Soriano MA (2006) Deficit irrigation for reducing agricultural water use. J Exp Bot 58:147–159

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Fretwell R (2009) Irrigation water demand model: technical description. RHF Systems Ltd, Kelowna

  23. Gaffney M (1997) What price water marketing? Am J Economics & Sociology 56:475–520

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Haider W, Rasid H (2002) Eliciting public preferences for municipal water supply options. Environ Impact Assess Rev 22:337–360

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Harma KJ, Johnson MS, Cohen SJ (2012) Future water supply and demand in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia: a scenario-based analysis of multiple, interacting stressors. Water Resour Manag 26:667–689

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 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 104:21–31

  27. Heaney A, Dwyer G, Beare S et al (2006) Third-party effects of water trading and potential policy responses. Aust J Agric Res Econ 50:277–293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Hensher D, Rose JM, Greene WH (2005) Applied choice analysis. Cambridge University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  29. Hrasko B, Bauer B, Geller D et al (2008) Okanagan sustainable water strategy: action plan 1.0. Okanagan Basin water board, Kelowna

    Google Scholar 

  30. Janmaat J (2010) Parrying water conflicts in the Okanagan: the potential of a water market. BC Studies: The British Columbian Quarterly, pp 21–44

  31. Janmaat J (2011) Drought impacts, irrigator attitudes, and the potential for water trading in the Okanagan. The University of British Columbia, Kelowna

    Google Scholar 

  32. Janmaat J (2013) Spatial patterns and policy implications for residential water use: an example using Kelowna, British Columbia. Water Resources and Economics 1:3–19

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 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 45–71

  34. Kenney DS, Klein RA, Clark MP (2004) Use and effectiveness of municipal water restrictions during drought in Colorado. J Am Water Resources Assoc 40:77–87

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Kiem AS (2013) Drought and water policy in Australia: challenges for the future illustrated by the issues associated with water trading and climate change adaptation in the Murray–Darling Basin. Glob Environ Chang 23:1615–1626

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Koundouri P (2009) The use of economic valuation in environmental policy: providing research support for the implementation of EU water policy under AquaStress. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  37. Kuhfeld WF (2010) Marketing research methods in SAS. SAS Institute Inc., Cary

    Google Scholar 

  38. Lancaster KJ (1966) A new approach to consumer theory. J Polit Econ 74:132–157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Langsdale S, Beall AC, Carmichael J et al (2009) Exploring the implications of climate change on water resources through participatory modeling: case study of the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia. J Water Resour Plng and Mgmt 135:373–381

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Lienhoop N, Brouwer R (2015) Agri-environmental policy valuation: farmers’ contract design preferences for afforestation schemes. Land Use Policy 42:568–577

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Louviere JJ, Woodworth G (1983) Design and analysis of simulated consumer choice or allocation experiments: an approach based on aggregate data. J Mark Res 20:350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. McFadden D (1974) Conditional logit analysis of qualitative choice behaviour. In: Zarembka P (ed) Frontiers in econometrics. Academic Press, New York, pp 105–142

  43. 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 161–164

  44. Pennings JME, Irwin SH, Good DL (2002) Surveying farmers: a case study. Rev Agric Econ 24:266–277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Pereira LS, Oweis T, Zairi A (2002) Irrigation management under water scarcity. Agric Water Manage 57:175–206

  46. Renwick ME, Green RD (2000) Do residential water demand side management policies measure up? An analysis of eight California water agencies. J Environ Econ Manag 40:37–55

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Rosegrant MW, Schleyer RG, Yadav SN (1995) Water policy for efficient agricultural diversification: market-based approaches. Food Policy 20:203–223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 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 85–111

  49. Shaw DT, Maidment DR (1987) Intervention analysis of water use restrictions, Austin, Texas. J Am Water Resources Assoc 23:1037–1046

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Speelman S, Farolfi S, Frija A et al (2010) The impact of the water rights system on smallholder irrigators' willingness to pay for water in Limpopo province, South Africa. Environ Dev Econ 15:465–483

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Street DJ, Burgess L, Louviere JJ (2005) Quick and easy choice sets: constructing optimal and nearly optimal stated choice experiments. Int J Res Mark 22:459–470

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Summit Environmental (2010) Okanagan water supply and demand project: phase 2 summary report. Okanagan Basin Water Board, Kelowna

    Google Scholar 

  53. 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 24–45

  54. Thacher J, Marsee M, Pitts H et al (2011) Assessing customer preferences and willingness to pay: a handbook for water utilities. Water Research Foundation, Denver

    Google Scholar 

  55. Tisdell JG, Ward JR (2003) Attitudes toward water markets: an Australian case study. Soc Nat Resour 16:61–75

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Train KE (2009) Discrete choice methods with simulation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  57. 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 119–136

    Google Scholar 

  58. Urquijo J, De Stefano L (2015) Perception of drought and local responses by farmers: a perspective from the Jucar River Basin, Spain. Water Resour Manag 30:577–591

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. 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 31–37

  60. 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:W03420

  61. Willis K, Scarpa R, Acutt M (2005) Assessing water company customer preferences and willingness to pay for service improvements: a stated choice analysis. Water Resour Res 41:W02019

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

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.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Steven A. Conrad.

Ethics declarations

Funding

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.

Human Studies

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.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Conrad, S.A., Rutherford, M.B. & Haider, W. Profiling Farmers’ Preferences about Drought Response Policies Using a Choice Experiment in the Okanagan Basin, Canada. Water Resour Manage 31, 2837–2851 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-017-1666-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Drought response plans
  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Farmer preferences
  • Water shortage
  • Water trading
  • Water allocation