Samira Afshari; Heydar Gholizadeh; Rohollah Rezaei; Hossein Shabanali Fami
Volume 14, Issue 3 , October 2016, , Pages 73-88
Introduction: Given the increasing crisis of water resource constraints, the proper management of water resources is indispensable for increasing water use efficiency, especially in the agricultural sector which has the highest water consumption (Perez-Blanco and Gomez, 2014). In fact, water resource ...
Introduction: Given the increasing crisis of water resource constraints, the proper management of water resources is indispensable for increasing water use efficiency, especially in the agricultural sector which has the highest water consumption (Perez-Blanco and Gomez, 2014). In fact, water resource management considers the main core of strategies to conserve water resources (Hu et al., 2014). Due to the importance of this issue, various studies have been undertaken in this respect such as those by Shahsavari (2014), Nori et al. (2014), Amirkhani et al. (2011), Mohammadi et al. (2009), Rezadoost and Allahyari (2014), Kulmatov (2014), Khalili (2012) and Panahi and Malekmohammadi (2010). Accordingly, the purpose of this research was to study the factors affecting the implementation of actions related to sustainable management of water resources among farmers in Komijan County, Markazi Province. Materials and methods: The statistical population for the research consisted of all agricultural households in the rural areas of Komijan County, of which a sample size of 300 was selected using a multiple stage sampling technique. Data was collected using a research-made questionnaire. The content validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by a panel of experts and the construct validity and reliability of the research instrument were confirmed through examining model fit at the three levels of the measurement model, structural model and overall model. The Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) multivariate technique (Partial Least Squares) was used to analyze data and for this purpose, and SPSS and Smart PLS software were applied.Results and discussion: In this study, after confirming the fit of the measurement model, the structural model for research was fitted based on two indices, R2 (representing the effect of exogenous latent variables on endogenous) and Q2 (indicating the predictive power of the model). The results indicated that the values of the two indices R2 and Q2 were at appropriate levels for the second order endogenous latent variable (namely, implementation of actions related to sustainable water resource management) as well as five first order endogenous latent variables (that is, technical actions, farming actions, technological actions, control actions and reconstruction actions); this showed that the structural model had a suitable fit. Accordingly, the research hypotheses were tested based on that model. The results of the descriptive statistics showed that the mean age and farming experience of the farmers surveyed were at high levels (54.21 and 28.9 years, respectively) and, in contrast, their educational level was low (81.7 percent less than diploma). The main water resources of the farmers were semi-deep wells, aqueducts and deep wells with a frequency of 43, 28.3 and 21 percent, respectively; 7.6 percent of them used a combination of an aqueduct with at least one other source. The majority of farmers (89.3 percent) used the flood irrigation system and a small number of farmers used new irrigation methods. The results showed that the majority of farmers (90.4 percent) implemented actions related to the sustainable management of water resources at medium and low levels. The results also revealed that the variables for extension related factors (p-value=0.01, β=0.203), educational factors (p-value=0.01, β=0.229), participatory factors (p-value=0.01, β=0.223) and supportive factors (p-value=0.01, β=0.220) all had a positive and significant effect on the dependent variable. In general, these four variables explained about 41.1 percent of variances in implementation of actions related to sustainable management of water resources among farmers. Conclusion: According to the results, we could note that the sustainable management of agricultural water resources requires a multifaceted approach and it consists of a series of technical actions, farming actions, technological actions, control actions and reconstruction actions. Taking a one-dimensional look at the question and the lack of systematic approach can significantly lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of agricultural water resource management programmes.