Cost–Benefit Analysis and Water Resources Management

Cost–Benefit Analysis and Water Resources Management

Edited by Roy Brouwer and David Pearce

How are the economic values of water and water quality accounted for in policy and project appraisal? This important book gives an overview of the state-of-the-art in Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA) in water resources management throughout Europe and North America, along with an examination of current applications.

Chapter 9: Cost–benefit Analysis of the Remedial Action Plan to Improve Water Quality in the Great Lakes in Canada

D.P. Dupont and S. Renzetti

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, valuation, environment, environmental economics, management natural resources, valuation, water

Extract

9. Cost–benefit analysis of the Remedial Action Plan to improve water quality in the Great Lakes in Canada D.P. Dupont and S. Renzetti 1. INTRODUCTION The Great Lakes are aptly named. Taken together, they hold approximately 18 per cent of the Earth’s freshwater and are the largest body of freshwater on the planet (USEPA, 2002). They supply water to 40 million citizens of Canada and the United States and support billions of dollars of activity by providing water for manufacturing, farming, electrical power generation, commercial shipping and recreation. The Great Lakes also provide many ecological services including fish and wildlife habitat, nutrient cycling as well as playing a role influencing continental weather patterns. Industrial, agricultural and domestic use of the Great Lakes, however, has come at a cost. During the period following the Second World War, the rapid increases in manufacturing activity, population and agricultural production in the Great Lakes watershed led to significant deteriorations in water quality in many parts of the Great Lakes (Environment Canada, 1986). Initial clean-up efforts began in the 1970s. These met with some success but were criticized for not allowing for sufficient public consultation and participation. As a result, the governments of the United States and Canada embarked on a novel approach to environmental restoration where control of local remedial actions was placed in locally organized committees. Under the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) programme, 42 ‘Areas of Concern’ were identified (including Hamilton Harbour) and a communitybased remediation...

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