This chapter provides a case study of the use of choice modelling method in irrigation water supply policy and management in Portugal.
This chapter provides a case study of the use of choice modelling method in irrigation water supply policy and management in Portugal. Provision of local public goods requires full understanding of local people’s preferences over policy design, and their willingness to switch from status quo to new regimes of public goods or institutions. This understanding not only helps policy design, but also spurs the local cooperation and directly determines economic performance. Irrigation infrastructure, as well as water resource, is an important common property shared within the same catchment. Farmers’ participation, as well as the understanding of their preferences, are critical to the policy designer in order to achieve social welfare maximization. A recent irrigation development project––in the vicinity of the Alqueva dam on Guadiana River (Portugal)––aims to extend public irrigation systems to farming land in Serpa-Mértola region where most areas are currently rain-fed. Understanding local farmers’ preferences about the new irrigation systems and water supply policy, as well as the acceptability of the new policy is the main purpose of this study.