WIT Press

Factor Analysis Identifying Key Values Held By South Australian And Victorian Irrigators In A Time Of Severe Drought


Free (open access)





Page Range

609 - 620




396 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. Wheeler, C. Lane-Miller, A. Zuo & H. Bjornlund


This study uses factor analysis to analyse the results of a telephone survey undertaken in the Riverland, South Australia (n = 324) and the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District of Victoria (n = 300) in 2008–09, a time of severe drought in the southern Murray Darling Basin. It reports the results of 56 different attitudinal questions, covering the dimensions of family, profit, land, water, community, lifestyle, and technology/innovation. Factor analysis was used to identify the underlying value constructs from these questions, with five main factors identified. They were named Succession (variables all related to the dimension of family); Commerce (related to the profitability of the farm business); Tradition (related to the lifestyle of farming); Environment (related to the environment); and Technology (related to adopting new technologies). Our findings were very similar to other typology research conducted with irrigators in different areas of the Murray Darling Basin. Keywords: irrigator attitudes, values, water, Australia, factor analysis. 1 Introduction Private land owners are critical to the sustainable management of natural resources. Consequently, efforts are growing to better understand the motivations, needs, and behaviours of these private land managers, as sustainable land management often requires changes in their land management practices. However, understanding land managers’ decisions is neither straight-forward nor simple. While a number of studies have attempted to identify land managers’


irrigator attitudes, values, water, Australia, factor analysis