Learning and capacity building for irrigators in Western Australia's East Wanneroo Area: A theoretical framework for educational provision and a sketch of the socioecological context

Document Type

Journal Article


Taylor and Francis Inc


Computing, Health and Science


Natural Sciences, Centre for Ecosystem Management




This is an electronic version of an article published in Applied Environmental Education & Communication Nan Hewitt & Pierre Horwitz (2006): Learning and Capacity Building for Irrigators in Western Australia's East Wanneroo Area: A Theoretical Framework for Educational Provision and a Sketch of the Socioecological Context, Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 5:1, 41-49. Applied Environmental Education & Communication is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1533-015X&volume=5&issue=1&spage=41


In Western Australia the East Wanneroo horticultural area is reliant on a superficial aquifer, the Gnangara Groundwater Mound, for irrigation. The area is affected by social and political change as the sprawling city of Perth expands, as well as by ecological changes resulting from a decline in groundwater levels. Horticulturalists face increasing competition for water allocation particularly with the drier conditions which are the consequence of two decades of reduced rainfall. This study provides a rationale for an educational intervention; explores the social, political, and ecological context of the East Wanneroo agricultural area; identifies gaps in current knowledge and understanding of the irrigation community and linkages between this community and their context which require further investigation and clarification; and outlines a theoretical framework which can be applied to develop a customized educational strategy aimed at improving irrigation practices and promoting sustainable communities and water usage.

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