Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

River Water Quality: Who Cares, How Much and Why?

Version 1 : Received: 2 August 2017 / Approved: 3 August 2017 / Online: 3 August 2017 (05:52:45 CEST)

How to cite: Hampson, D.; Ferrini, S.; Rigby, D.; Bateman, I.J. River Water Quality: Who Cares, How Much and Why?. Preprints 2017, 2017080006 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0006.v1). Hampson, D.; Ferrini, S.; Rigby, D.; Bateman, I.J. River Water Quality: Who Cares, How Much and Why?. Preprints 2017, 2017080006 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0006.v1).

Abstract

One important motivation for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive is the creation of non-market environmental benefits such as improved ecological quality, or greater opportunities for open-access river recreation via microbial pollution remediation. Pollution sources impacting on ecological or recreational water quality can be uncorrelated but non-market benefits arising from riverine improvements are typically conflated within benefit valuation studies. Using stated preference choice experiments, we seek to disaggregate these sources of value for different river users, thereby allowing decision makers to understand the consequences of adopting alternative investment strategies. Our results suggest anglers derive greater value from improvements to the ecological quality of river water, in contrast to swimmers and rowers for whom greater value is gained from improvements to recreational quality. We also find three distinct groups of respondents: a majority preferring ecological over recreational improvements, a substantial minority holding opposing preference orderings and a small proportion expressing relatively low values for either form of river quality enhancement. As such, this research demonstrates that the non-market benefits which may accrue from different types of water quality improvements are nuanced in terms of their potential beneficiaries and, by inference, their overall value and policy implications.

Subject Areas

Water Framework Directive; ecological and microbiological water quality; choice experiment; willingness to pay for river water quality; conditional logit; latent class analysis; nonmarket benefits

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