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Reviewing the decision‐making behavior of irrigators

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Abstract The contribution of agriculture to society is undeniable, as is its impact on the environment. Irrigators' decisions to follow best management practices or implement a policy change, to accept a technology, or even to exit farming, all affect society. Hence the decision‐making behavior of irrigators is of interest to politicians, policymakers, and researchers due to their impact on resource use and social concerns for their welfare. There are numerous studies available regarding the decision‐making behavior of irrigators. Most of them concentrate on decisions within a single time frame, single decisions with multiple driving forces, or multiple decisions with a single driving force. We have conducted a comprehensive review of the existing literature related to irrigators' decision‐making behavior. We used a systematic method to identify relevant publications and used qualitative data analysis (content analysis) to analyze trends and/or patterns across the selected articles. This research provided a typology and an overarching high‐level framework of irrigators' decision‐making process irrespective of the types of decisions made. The results of the study demonstrate that it is highly beneficial to integrate both qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study to get a complete picture of irrigators' decision‐making process. This allows us to ensure that we have captured the relevant drivers of decision‐making in highly dynamic and complex environments. Better knowledge of irrigators' decision‐making process allows regulators to shape improved agricultural policy and increase acceptance by irrigators of technologies that allow water managers to allocate resources fairly among different stakeholders. This article is categorized under: Human Water > Methods Engineering Water > Planning Water Human Water > Water Governance
Overview of methods used for the analysis—A systematic method was used to identify key articles, and content analysis was used to analyze the literature
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Coding during the content analysis
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Word frequency cloud generated in NVivo
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Location the study area on a global map
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Number of papers published in each year

The highest number of studies is reported from USA, Australia, and France, with moderate number from India, China, other European countries, and parts of Africa (Figure )

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Decisions types used in quantitative, mixed, and qualitative methods
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Classification of literature based on the decision types
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Decision to exit from farming—Structural decisions (From Peel et al. ()) applied to the high‐level framework
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Decision to adopt deficit irrigation (DI) technology—Strategic decisions (From Alcon et al. ()) applied to the high‐level framework
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Crop management decisions based on climate forecast—Tactical decisions (From Patt, Suarez, and Gwata ()) applied to the high‐level framework
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High‐level decision‐making framework
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PRISMA flow chart for selecting the articles for the study where n is the total number of journals selected for the each of the steps screening process (From Moher, Liberati, Tetzlaff, Altman, and The Prisma Group ())
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Browse by Topic

Human Water > Methods
Human Water > Water Governance
Engineering Water > Planning Water

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