Purpose- The irrigated wheat farms of Doroudzan District in Marvdasht County, Fars Province face agricultural water deficit challenges due to mis-management of water resources. This research aims at investigating water conflict strategies among the irrigated wheat farms of Doroudzan Dam Network.
Design/methodology/approach- The study was descriptive regarding its nature and used survey research procedure. The statistical population included 803 wheat farmer households residing in Ramjerd 2 and Abarj Dehestans in Doroudzan District. According to Krejcie and Morgan's (1970) sample size table, the samples were 260wheat farmers selected based on simple random sampling technique. Systematic questionnaires were used to collect data by means of face-to-face interviews. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by a panel of experts, and a pilot study was also done to assess the reliability of the questionnaire. The estimated Cronbach's alpha coefficients were between the accepted range (i.e. 0.50 - 0.75) for the different measures used in this study.
Findings- Results revealed that the most prevalent conflicts were intra-group conflicts among the counterparts. Verbal conflicts were the current form of water conflicts regarding the conflict intensity in the region. Physical attacks and third party (police) controls were placed in the second and third position. The results of cluster analysis indicated three clusters of farmers; “educated aggressors”, “low-literate aggressors” and “peace-oriented farmers”. All the clusters were statistically different regarding their demographic characteristics (age and education level), farming-system portfolio (area under cultivation, annual income and cost) and water conflict in response to water shortages. According to the contingency table, collaboration strategy was the prominent conflict management strategy among the three groups followed by compromising strategy.
Research limitations / implications- The lack of institutional support to get information on conflict attacks among the rural residents and the time-consuming nature of the survey study are the most important challenges in this study.
Practical implications-According to the findings, it is of prominent importance to provide the context of problem solving with counterparts. As a result, it needs more attempts to share all the stakeholders’ interests to reach a common decision. It seems that reaching a satisfactory solution needs drawing out different parties’ expectations to help them get organized through collaboration.
Originality/value- Numerous studies have been carried out on water deficiencies. However, this study is the first in the context of rural settlement and valued based on the analysis of the conflict management strategies among famer groups that has not been addressed in previous studies.
Conflict Management Strategies, Drought, Shared Water Resources, Wheat Growers, Doroudzan
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