New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Fred J. Hitzhusen
Chapter 8: Effects of Pesticide Use and Farming Practices on Water Treatment Costs in Maumee River Basin Communities
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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