Culture, climate change and farm-level groundwater management: An Australian case study

Matthew R Sanderson, Allan Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural factors ' values, beliefs, and norms ' provide important insights into the environmental attitudes, risk perceptions, and behaviors of the general population. Little is known, however, about the ostensibly complex relationships linking those elements of culture to climate change risk perceptions, especially in the context of farm level decision in the ground water context. This paper addresses that gap through an analysis of survey data provided by irrigators in the Namoi catchment of Australia's Murray'Darling Basin. We use Values'Beliefs'Norms theory to construct multivariate models of the relationship between ground water irrigators' interpretations of climate change risks and their implementation of adaptive water conservation practices. Results indicate that these cultural factors are important explanations of irrigators' climate change risk perceptions, and these risk perceptions are related to adaptive ground water management strategies at the farm level. The implications of the findings are discussed for research on the culture-environment nexus and for outreach designed to encourage agricultural adaptations to climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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