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Arizona State University (ASU) 2021

Farmers’ Adaptations to Groundwater Scarcity in the Rafsanjan Plain, Iran

Hashemi, Seyyed Mahmoud

Titre : Farmers’ Adaptations to Groundwater Scarcity in the Rafsanjan Plain, Iran

Auteur : Hashemi, Seyyed Mahmoud

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University (ASU)

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2021

Groundwater depletion is threatening the livelihoods and welfare of millions of people living in rural and urban areas worldwide. As had been the experience with many countries, aquifers in Iran have been rapidly depleted over the past decades. The Rafsanjan Plain, Iran (a global center for pistachio cultivation and production) is the study area for this dissertation. The Rafsanjan Plain exemplifies a region where a mismatch between ‘economy’ (socio-economic growth) and ‘ecology’ (water resources’ carrying capacity) has resulted in unsustainable development. Besides groundwater scarcity, Rafsanjani pistachio growers are currently dealing with other stressors, notably declining agricultural profitability.Using a social-psychological lens and employing both qualitative and quantitative social science research methods, I explored adaptation to groundwater scarcity among pistachio growers in Rafsanjan. Through adopting an integrated approach combining vulnerability and resilience frameworks, a theoretical framework was developed as a diagnostic tool for conceptualization and measurement of adaptation of a groundwater-dependent farmer to groundwater scarcity. The framework consists of five components : ‘Social-ecological stressors’(Stressor), ‘Groundwater-dependent livelihood system’(Livelihood), ‘Response options’, (Response) ‘Background variables’, and ‘Structural factors.’ While heterogeneity exists, the majority of pistachio growers’ perceptions and subjective norms on the Livelihood, Stressor, and Response components strongly favor the human element (short-term pistachio production) over the water element (groundwater conservation for future use). Based on the results from two path models, I also found that pistachio growers who had more pessimistic perceptions of the groundwater resources in Rafsanjan were more likely to increase groundwater extraction ; however, these growers were also more likely to seek external employment (income diversification). In addition, a general structural equation model was developed to analyze socio-psychological factors that affect the intentions to adopt and the actual adoption of income diversification in response to groundwater scarcity. The developed model includes affective attitudes, instrumental attitudes, and self-efficacy. This model explains 55% and 36% of the variance in intentions to pursue and the actual pursuit of income diversification among farmers, respectively. Results of this dissertation can inform policies for conserving groundwater resources and maintaining pistachio growers’ livelihoods.

Sujets : Water resources managementSocial PsychologyEnvironmental Economics

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Page publiée le 15 décembre 2021