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Dealing with Water Scarcity and Salinity: Adoption of Water Efficient Technologies and Management Practices by California Avocado Growers

Julie Reints (), Ariel Dinar () and David Crowley ()
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Julie Reints: Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Ariel Dinar: School of Public Policy, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
David Crowley: Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 9, 1-30

Abstract: The irrigated agriculture sector has been facing an increased scarcity of good quality water worldwide. Consequently, the sustainability of water intensive crops, such as avocado, is threatened when water becomes scarce and expensive, or when growers must use saline water supplies that reduce crop yields. A variety of irrigation technologies and water management practices are now recommended to help growers through times of limited water supplies and elevated salinity levels. To examine how growers adopt different practices and combinations of practices, we collected data from a sample of avocado growers in California. We used Kohonen self-organizing maps, and developed logit models to identify the most common bundles of technologies and management practices that growers are using to deal with water scarcity. We test the validity of the proposed bundles and factors affecting their adoption, using primary data obtained from a survey of California avocado growers at the height of the drought during 2012–2013. Results show that farm location, share of income from agricultural production, use of cooperative extension advice, and farmer characteristics, such as age and education, all play important roles in grower adoption of individual and bundled methods to adapt to water scarcity.

Keywords: agricultural extension; bundle: drought; irrigation technology; water conservation; water policy; water scarcity; salinity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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