© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. More efficient and sustainable use of water is increasingly becoming an urgency in drought prone parts of the world. In particular, in water scarce regions such as the Mediterranean, water supply is expected to become more uncertain because of climate change. Consequently, pro-active policy initiatives are proposed to increase supply reliability. Local context is important when the effectiveness of policies is assessed. The aim of this paper is to evaluate farmers' acceptance of policy strategies to increase water supply reliability in the Segura, a water scarce river basin in the south-east of Spain. Results from a choice experiment suggest that farmers are willing to pay twice as much as their current irrigation water price to ensure water supply reliability through government supply guaranteed programs. However, they are averse to any institutional changes that might assist the government to achieve increased water supply.