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Type: Journal article
Title: Turning water into wine: exploring water security perceptions and adaptation behaviour amongst conventional, organic and biodynamic grape growers
Author: Wheeler, S.
Marning, A.
Citation: Land Use Policy, 2019; 82:528-537
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 0264-8377
Statement of
Sarah Ann Wheeler, Angelika Marning
Abstract: Australian irrigators regularly experience drought conditions, placing water security as a critical issue facing agriculture, especially for permanent plantings such as grapes. This study explores irrigators’ water security perceptions and their water management adaptation behaviour using in-depth interviews and surveys with 37 conventional, organic and biodynamic grape growers in South Australia. Conventional growers’ water adaptation behaviour was primarily reliant on activities external to the vineyard (e.g. upgrading irrigation infrastructure); whereas alternative (i.e. certified organic/biodynamic) growers’ water security actions were based largely on internal vineyard activities (e.g. agro-ecological methods). Conventional growers often named governance and district physical capital as influencing their adaptive capacity to water scarcity, while alternative growers focussed more on the role of human, social, and farm soil and land capital in influencing their farm adaptive capacity. Two-thirds of surveyed alternative growers converted away from conventional production at the end of the Millennium Drought, naming water security issues as their main reason. Overall alternative growers perceived higher water security and less water vulnerability due to higher soil water retention. Findings suggest a need for current Murray-Darling Basin water policy to seriously reconsider the approach of primarily investing money in irrigation infrastructure to save water and to focus more on agro-ecological methods.
Keywords: Viticulture; irrigation; water markets; Murray-Darling Basin plan; South Australia; alternative agriculture
Rights: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030106461
DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.12.034
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Global Food Studies publications

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