A European Perspective
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Ekin Birol and Phoebe Koundouri
Chapter 11: Using a Choice Experiment to Inform Implementation of the European Union Water Framework Directive: The Case of Cheimaditida Wetland in Greece
Ekin Birol, Katia Karousakis1 and Phoebe Koundouri INTRODUCTION Water resources include surface water, groundwater, wetlands, inland waters, rivers, lakes, transitional waters, coastal waters and aquifers (Chave, 2001). Together these water resources are crucial to human health, the natural environment and the functioning of any economy in the world, since they are necessary inputs to agriculture, industry, domestic consumption and tourism (UNEP, 2000). The quality and quantity of water resources have been deteriorating globally at alarming rates however. Though the situation is most severe in developing countries, two-thirds of which are expected to face water shortages by 2030 (FAO, 2003), the situation for water resources in Europe is also far from satisfactory. According to the European Commission’s (EC) recent statistics, 20 per cent of all surface water in the European Union (EU) is seriously threatened by pollution. Sixty-ﬁve per cent of all Europe’s drinking water is provided by groundwater resources, which are being exploited by 60 per cent of European cities. The area of irrigated land in Southern Europe has increased by 20 per cent since 1985, contributing to increasing water scarcity (EC, 2002). In the past century, Europe has lost 50 to 60 per cent of its wetlands, an integral part of water resources which generate an array of important economic functions and services including ﬂood protection, water supply, improved water quality, commercial and recreational ﬁshing and the mitigation of global climate change (Barbier et al., 1997; Woodward and Wui, 2001; Brouwer et al., 2003; Brander et al., 2006)...
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