Water Resources Research

An assessment of the nonmarket benefits of the Water Framework Directive for households in England and Wales

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Abstract

[1] Results are presented from a large-scale stated preference study designed to estimate the nonmarket benefits for households in England and Wales arising from the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD). Multiple elicitation methods (a discrete choice experiment and two forms of contingent valuation) are employed, with the order in which they are asked randomly varied across respondents, to obtain a robust model for valuing specified WFD implementation programs applied to all of the lakes, reservoirs, rivers, canals, transitional, and coastal waters of England and Wales. The potential for subsequent policy incorporation and value transfer was enhanced by generating area-based values. These were found to vary from £2,263 to £39,168 per km2 depending on the population density around the location of the improvement, the ecological scope of that improvement, and the value elicitation method employed. While the former factors are consistent with expectations, the latter suggests that decision makers need to be aware of such methodological effects when employing derived values.

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