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Adaptation Strategies and Barriers to Water Scarcity: A Qualitative Analysis in Southern Iran

IWRA 2021 Online Conference One Water, One Health
Theme 2: How can managing water in agriculture contribute to food security and public health?
Author(s): Sadegh Rahmani , Davoud Rouzaneh, Farshad Razmavar, and Siroos Jafari

Presented by:

Siroos Jafari - Soil Sciences Department, Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan


Sadegh Rahmani , Davoud Rouzaneh, Farshad Razmavar - Agricultural Extension and Education Department, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Iran

Keyword(s): Adaptation, Climate change, Qualitative analysis, Water management, Water scarcity


The effects of climate change on agricultural water resources have emerged as a major concern for policymakers in developing countries. Adaptation is recognized as a key strategy in controlling the effects of water scarcity due to climate change. The behavior of farmers as the core of this strategy is very important. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of farmers' risk of water scarcity and identify the main strategies for coping with water scarcity in southern Iran. Due to the application of qualitative approach in this study, from semi-structured in-depth interviews to better understand farmers' perceptions of risk, strategies
and barriers to their adaptation, with residents of Dashtestan region (20 people) as one of the agricultural areas with dry climate recent droughts in southern Iran. To analyze the results of this study, the Health Belief Model (HBM) has been used due to the possibility of interpreting adaptive behaviors based on two dimensions of this model, namely farmers' risk perception and how farmers respond to water scarcity. Based on the results, most farmers confirmed that water scarcity had occurred in their area and expressed indications that this phenomenon was occurring based on local experiences gained over the past years. Based on the analysis, most of
the adaptation strategies used are classified into three categories, which include farm water resources management, farm technical management, and farm risk management. Efforts have been made to adapt using methods such as changing the irrigation system, low irrigation, increasing the use of animal manure, weeding, night irrigation, reducing the area under cultivation and insuring crops. Also, barriers to farmers' adaptation in three institutional, economic and social dimensions were examined and classified. Also, the main barriers to adaptation mentioned by farmers are lack of government support, financial problems, administrative problems, lack of training courses and high cost of agricultural equipment. These results highlight the need for policymakers to recognize drought in these areas and to provide institutional and legal facilities for the development of adaptive methods in these areas. Also, the need to pay attention to the impact of the social dimension of adaptive behavior can guide policymakers. Adopting sustainable approaches will help in the development of the agricultural sector.

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