Price, virtues, principles: how to discern what inspires best practices in water management? a case study about small farmers in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico
CITATTION: Ramirez, R. R., Seeliger, L. & Di Pietro, F. 2016. Price, virtues, principles: how to discern what inspires best practices in water management? a case study about small farmers in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Sustainability, 8(4):385, doi:10.3390/su8040385
The original publication is available at http://www.mdpi.com
Improving water practices among small farmers in a water scarce area like the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is a complex task. Despite government attempts to enforce regulations and question the possibility of adjusting prices, the misuse of this scarce resource continues. Most farmers are, at best, motivated to aim for a minimum level of compliance, with very few striving to engage in best practices. This article seeks to make a proposal about the best drivers for inspiring best practices in an effort to improve the use of water management in the area. It proposes that a virtue ethics approach that explicitly focuses on the cultivation of an attitude of respect for water founded on three key principles (participation, hydrosolidarity and proactive engagement) is the best solution for Yucatan. This hypothesis is the result of developing a singular methodology based on Partial Least Squares (PLS), according to structural equation modeling (SEM), that could be replicated anywhere to ascertain which measures are best suited in a particular context. Using a small sample size, this research ascertains what is required to achieve best practices with regards to the management of water in that particular area.
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