Abstract

Shrinking water resources as a potential result of climate change (CC) creates a challenging tradeoff situation in the north of Tunisia. This study provides valuable insights into the conditions that can promote farmers' acceptance of regulated deficit irrigation and a new water pricing policy to address CC impacts on the semi-arid irrigated region which will allow for a sustainable irrigation regime and the conservation of water resources at regional scale. Binary logistic regression was used to analyze data collected from 100 farmers in the citrus regions of Beni Khalled and Menzel Bouzelfa, to identify determining factors for farmers' willingness to accept the proposed water management strategies. Empirical findings reveal that the significant explanatory variables are essentially linked to farmer satisfaction about the current irrigation management in relation to water supply reliability, rather than the social criteria and farmers' awareness of water scarcity. More efforts are needed to improve the transparency of water allocation systems to motivate the willingness of water users to adopt new technologies or policies. The different stakeholders should agree to take action now about strategic extension and communication plans to enhance awareness on ensuing environmental problems, to take advantage of long-term profitability of the water restriction.

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