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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 13: Cost–benefit Analysis of Large-Scale Groundwater Remediation in France

J.-D. Rinaudo and S. Loubier


13. Cost–benefit analysis of large-scale groundwater remediation in France J.-D. Rinaudo and S. Loubier 1. INTRODUCTION Since the industrial revolution, the development of economic activities has exerted significant pressures on groundwaters through diffuse and point source pollution. Diffuse industrial pollution is mainly related to atmospheric pollution, which contaminates rainwater and soils and, ultimately, groundwater. Groundwater point source pollution, the focus of this chapter, generally results from leakage from tanks, waste dumps such as urban and industrial landfills, mining waste dumps and spoil heaps or accidental spills caused by transport accidents, fire and so on. Contaminants found in groundwater are mainly volatile organic contaminants (VOC), such as dicholroethylene, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, vinil chloride and benzene. Other contaminants commonly present include heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and oils. One of the main characteristics of industrial point source pollution is that they often remained undetected for decades. The actors responsible for the pollution (for instance, leakage of buried chemical storage tanks) were either not aware of the pollution or they did not report the pollution to the competent authorities. Their impact is thus frequently discovered long after the pollution actually took place, typically when the pollution plume reaches a drinking water well, generating an economic damage for a third party. Given the long time that usually passes between the pollution event and its detection, the contaminated area may be very large and the costs of possible remediation measures significant.1 In France, the number of reported cases of...

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