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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.
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Chapter 6: Cost–benefit Analysis of River Restoration in Denmark

A. Dubgaard, M.F. Kallesøe and J. Ladenburg


6. Cost–benefit analysis of river restoration in Denmark A. Dubgaard, M.F. Kallesøe, J. Ladenburg and M.L. Petersen 1. INTRODUCTION Denmark is a densely populated country where few natural obstacles have prevented the appropriation of land for arable farming and urban uses. In the beginning of the nineteenth century up to 60 per cent of the total land area was occupied by heath, meadows, dry pastures, and bogs. Today less than 9 per cent of the country is covered by these types of extensively managed natural habitats. This has resulted in a decline in biodiversity as well as the loss of aesthetic and cultural values. During the past couple of decades the trend has turned and much emphasis is now placed on nature restoration. Restoration of wet meadows in river valleys has a prominent position in the nature restoration programme (Minister of the Environment, 2002). This is due to the fact that much of the biodiversity lost in Denmark is connected with wetlands and riparian areas. In addition, restored wetlands will often be able to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and provide new recreational opportunities. The magnitude and significance of these benefits will vary depending on the type of restoration, the size of the area, and the geographical location. Likewise, the costs of restoration depend on the level of ambitions regarding the magnitude and multitude of benefits and the alternative use value of the land. In other words, when selecting areas for nature restoration decisionmakers...

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