Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 (E-Mail: email@example.com).
ESTIMATING THE PUBLIC'S VALUES FOR INSTREAM FLOW: ECONOMIC TECHNIQUES AND DOLLAR VALUES1
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 34, Issue 5, pages 1007–1014, October 1998
How to Cite
Loomis, J. B. (1998), ESTIMATING THE PUBLIC'S VALUES FOR INSTREAM FLOW: ECONOMIC TECHNIQUES AND DOLLAR VALUES. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 34: 1007–1014. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1998.tb04149.x
Paper No. 97148 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.Discussions are open until June 1, 1999.
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
- water policy;
- water management;
ABSTRACT: Sound water resource management requires comparison of benefits and costs. Many of the perceived benefits of water relate to providing instream flow for recreation and endangered fish. These uses have value but no prices to guide resource allocation. Techniques to estimate the dollar values of environmental benefits are presented and illustrated with several case studies. The results of the case studies show that emphasis on minimum instream flow allocates far less than the economically optimum amount of water to instream uses. Studies in Idaho demonstrated that optimum flows that balance benefits and costs can be ten times greater than minimum flows. The economic benefits of preserving public trust resources outweighed the replacement cost of water and power by a factor of fifty in California. While it is important to incorporate public preferences in water resource management, these economic survey techniques provide water managers with information not just on preference but how much the public is willing to pay for as well. This facilitates comparison of the public costs and benefits of instream flows.