|Title||Sharing reasoning behind individual decisions to invest in joint infrastructure|
|Author(s)||Nikkels, Melle J.; Guillaume, Joseph H.A.; Leith, Peat; Hellegers, Petra J.G.J.|
|Source||Water 11 (2019)4. - ISSN 2073-4441|
Water Resources Management
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Irrigation - Participatory crossover analysis - Water resources management - Water valuation - Willingness to pay (WTP)|
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.