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The impact of the water rights system on smallholder irrigators' willingness to pay for water in Limpopo province, South Africa

Speelman S., Farolfi S., Frija A., D'Haese M., D'Haese L.. 2010. Environment and Development Economics, 15 (4) : p. 465-483.

Water rights are currently receiving increased attention from scholars and policymakers due to the growing understanding that ill-defined water rights impair efficient use. In South Africa, smallholder irrigation faces problems of low water use efficiency and cost recovery of government investments. This study uses contingent ranking to analyse the willingness to pay (WTP) of smallholder irrigators for changes in the water rights system. The results indicate that smallholders are prepared to pay considerably higher water prices if these are connected to improvements in the water rights system. By segmenting the population it was also shown that the importance attached to water rights dimensions varies in each segment. While lower institutional trust and lower income levels lead to a lower WTP for transferability, experiencing water shortage increases thisWTP. Such information is valuable in guiding policymakers in the future design of water rights. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : irrigation; gestion des eaux; petite exploitation agricole; réglementation des eaux; afrique du sud

Thématique : Ressources en eau et leur gestion; Irrigation

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