Adoption of agricultural water conservation practices – a question of individual or collective behaviour? The case of the North China Plain

B. Bluemling, H. Yang, H.J. Mosler

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This article compares two approaches to identifying the factors that motivate farmers’ application of agricultural water saving measures. On the one hand, it is assumed that farmers respond individually to falls in the groundwater table. Cognitive and socio-demographic parameters are employed to explain the individual conditions under which farmers may change their behaviour in response to groundwater table decline. Farmers’ decisions to adopt water saving measures also appear to be triggered by the social environment. The authors tested and compared the assumptions of both approaches using a survey from the Hai River basin on the North China Plain. They found that, although farmers applied water saving measures, this was not as a response to a decline in water resources. The village societal structures appeared to be pivotal in motivating agricultural water saving to the advantage of farmers and the water reserves
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-16
JournalOutlook on Agriculture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • environmental behavior
  • conceptual-framework
  • analyzing attitudes
  • food security
  • farmers
  • sustainability
  • determinants
  • technology
  • management
  • extension

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