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2009-05-19 | Books

“An Analysis of Water Users’ Preferences for a Community Based Management Regime to Manage Groundwater Use: an Application of Choice Experiment to the Merguellil River Basin”

X. Liu, H. Mchrrafiyeh, R. Noden, M. Sarr and T. Swanson, Forthcoming, “An Analysis of Water Users’ Preferences for a Community Based Management Regime to Manage Groundwater Use: an Application of Choice Experiment to the Merguellil River B
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One of the most pressing problems faced by the Tunisian farmers and authorities is the inexorable decline of the water table over the past twenty years due to the over-exploitation of the groundwater. This study is an attempt to find how this issue can be resolved through collective action.

One of the most pressing problems faced by the Tunisian farmers and authorities is the inexorable decline of the water table over the past twenty years due to the over-exploitation of the groundwater. Despite the existence of a legislation regulating the drilling of wells and boreholes by farmers, unlicensed sources of water have spread rapidly, while law enforcement seems very difficult both for economic and social reasons. This study is an attempt to find how this issue can be resolved through collective action. We use a policy Choice Experiment to elicit the farmers’ preference toward a change in groundwater management policy in view of stabilizing the water table level. The analysis shows that farmers have important environmental awareness and are willing to bear stringent short-term restrictions and costs (land area restriction, pricing of the groundwater, installation fees, metering) to reap long term benefits (stabilization of the water table, avoidance of water pollution) provided the new regime is transparent, and fair monitoring is guaranteed by actors who have no vested interest. Finally, we find that the wealthier farmers, who probably benefit most from the current status quo, are most likely to oppose policy change.

    Authors

  • Other authors:
    Sarr, Mare