Economic Valuation of River Systems

Economic Valuation of River Systems

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Fred J. Hitzhusen

The book applies benefit–cost analysis and a wide array of non-market and distribution economic valuation methods in ecologic context to determine the pay-off and distribution impacts of various infrastructure and water quality improvements to eight river systems in the Great Lakes region of the US. The generally positive results have important implications for public policy and future research.

Chapter 8: Effects of Pesticide Use and Farming Practices on Water Treatment Costs in Maumee River Basin Communities

D. Lynn Forster and Chris Murray

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, valuation, environment, environmental economics, valuation, water


8. Effects of pesticide use and farming practices on water treatment costs in Maumee River basin communities D. Lynn Forster and Chris Murray INTRODUCTION Nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution has been a concern for several decades. Farming practices and pesticide use are sources of NPS surface water pollution in farming communities. Farm management practices, including tillage and pesticide application methods, can influence the local water quality by affecting the amount of NPS particulates and chemicals that enter nearby water (Fawcett et al., 1994; Forster et al., 2000a; 2000b; Gaynor et al., 1995; Kenimer et al., 1997; Myers et al., 2000). Besides other social and ecological impacts that these NPS pollutants might have, studies suggest that water quality can influence the cost of treating water for consumption (Dearmont et al., 1998; Forster et al., 1987; Holmes, 1988). It follows that if the suggested cause and effect relationships exist, farm management practices and land use should affect downstream water quality and community drinking water treatment costs. The objective of this study is to examine relationships between (a) land use and farm management practices and (b) downstream water quality and community water treatment costs by investigating evidence from 11 communities in the Maumee River basin. Earlier studies have investigated water quality and drinking water treatment costs. Forster et al. (1987) investigates water treatment costs using volume treated, turbidity, soil erosion rates, and storage capacity as the explanatory variables in a Cobb-Douglas cost function. Holmes (1988) uses sediment...

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