Practices, Social Representations and Behaviours within socio-hydrosystems (PRECOS)

The team was born in 2014 based on an observation: experimental analyses in social sciences are of interest for the understanding of social dynamics and the design of instruments or policies for water management.

Photo2 Eq PRS


The central object of our analyses is the individual behaviour of the actors within socio-hydrosystems. Even though this behaviour takes place in groups, as it often does, we are interested in studying individual choices, the way they evolve, and the factors that influence them. This includes individual behaviours that take into account the strategies of other actors within a group (cooperative and non-cooperative equilibria, for example) and the effect of collective rules established by (endogenous) or imposed on (exogenous) groups. We also study if and under what conditions these individual choices influence the decisions made by the groups and by the institutions that manage the systems within which the actors studied operate and evolve.


photo1 precos The team's work resides on three methodological references used to analyze practices, social representations and behaviours within socio-hydrosystems: quantitative-qualitative surveys, economic evaluation based on stated preferences, and economic experiments. To these references are added hybrid methods, including other disciplines such as social psychology. Hybrid methods constitute an objective per se for the team: to design new methods adapted to the specific situations of research in partnership within socio-hydrosystems.



Photo3 1 Eq PRS



PRECOS is above all a methodological team. Consequently, the main questions concern the methods and research processes that can be mobilized in order to study the practices and individual behaviours of socio-hydrosystem’ actors. In particular, we address the following questions:




  • How to adapt the proposed methods to the study of socio-hydrosystems?
  • How to open-up the methods used by the team to interdisciplinary approaches?
  • How to implement field experiments in situations where it is difficult to control behavioral variables, in particular in the South?
  • How to combine experimental approaches with other methods of economic analysis or social sciences for research in support of decision-making for water management?
  • What kind of experiments for water economics education?

photo4 precosWithin the projects, "thematic" research questions emerge. They concern the analysis of the behaviour of actors within socio-hydrosystems. Here are a few examples: what is the influence of information (institutional, social) on farmers' willingness to pay for irrigation water? What are the factors that influence the choice of an innovation (complementary irrigation basins for irrigation) in Burkina Faso or the choice of adaptations to the lack of water in Tunisia and Morocco?



The team fieldworks are those of its members' projects. They range from Metropolitan France to the South of the Mediterranean, to the overseas regions where the UMR G-Eau researchers work. PRECOS partnerships are primarily scientific in nature, but taking into account the applied nature of its research and the orientation towards decision support, collaborations with institutions, political and private decision-makers, producer organizations and irrigators are in place.


Coordinators: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. et This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 © Photos : S. Farolfi, CIRAD

logo precos eng


Can nudges increase the effectiveness of payments for ecosystem services? Evidence from a randomized experiment

Summary - Presentation - Article

Ph. Le Coent

The building of social capital in rural communities through a development project. A lab-in-the-field analysis in the Limpopo province of South Africa

Summary - Presentation

D. Jourdain, S. Farolfi

Supplemental irrigation from farm ponds to mitigate rainfall variability in the Sahel: Farmers’ preferences and Institutions’ goals in Burkina Faso

Summary- Presentation

R. Ouedraogo

Le compteur communicant : Perception des irrigants – le cas du bassin du Louts

Summary - Presentation

P. Garin, M. Montginoul

Building new kinds of meta-models to analyse experimentally (companion)     modelling processes in the field of natural resource management

Summary - Article

B. Bonté

Introducing nature into cities or preserving existing peri-urban ecosystems?  Analysis of preferences in a rapidly urbanizing catchment

Summary - Presentation - Article


C. Hérivaux, Ph. Le Coent


Natural landscape or cycling facilities: what are ViaRhôna users looking for?

Summary - Presentation - Article

S. Morardet