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 12: Overview, Key Findings, and Approaches Including Benefit Transfer for Generalization of Research Results

Fred J. Hitzhusen and Sarah A. Kruse

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


12. Overview, key findings, and approaches including benefit transfer for generalization of research results Fred J. Hitzhusen and Sarah A. Kruse OVERVIEW This book has reported on a large, eight-year research program at The Ohio State University to develop methods and estimates of the benefits and costs of various water quality, infrastructure, scenic, and historic river corridor impacts and improvements as a guide to economic analysis and public policy on river and related watershed restoration. The research focuses on evaluation of rivers in the Great Lakes region of the United States and involves a team of environmental economists, an ecological engineer and two aquatic biologists. When the various corridor impact or improvement benefits broadly conceived are expressed in a common economic metric and compared to their full economic costs, one has a basis for assessing river corridors in an economic development, welfare economic and public policy context. The earliest civilizations were developed along rivers for the rich farmland along their banks and easy transportation. Irrigation of farm lands and water powered industry were followed by large dams and locks for irrigation, residential and industrial water supply, recreation boating and fishing, hydroelectric power and barge transportation of products. Rivers today have the potential to play an important role in the development of an economically depressed region by providing water supply, transportation, waste assimilation, and a wide array of recreation and tourism activities. Rivers as a source of waste disposal are increasingly in conflict with water supply, recreation...

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