Australian governments have sought to invest in irrigation infrastructure to improve the efficiency of water delivery to rural properties and improve water supply and on-farm efficiency. A programme of rationalising irrigation infrastructure has attracted criticism and doubts about its likely success. Attitude theory in the form of the Reasoned Action Model was applied to understand the intentions of landowners to connect to a ‘modernised’ irrigation system. Attitudes towards connecting to the system, social norms and perceptions of control over the behaviour provided an explanation of intentions to connect. Actual financial capability and other variables were important in discriminating a group of landowners who had already connected to the modernised system from farmers who had not.