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Econometrics Informing Natural Resources Management

Selected Empirical Analyses

Edited by Phoebe Koundouri

This fascinating book outlines the fundamental principles and difficulties that characterise the challenging task of using econometrics to inform natural resource management policies, and illustrates them through a number of case studies from all over the world. The book offers a comprehensive overview of the broader picture of the state-of-the-art in econometrics as applied to environmental and natural resource management.
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Chapter 8: Contingent ranking of river water quality improvements

Stavros Georgiou, Ian Bateman and Matthew Cole


Stavros Georgiou, Ian Bateman, Matthew Cole and David Hadley 1. BACKGROUND The River Tame rises as three tributaries in the urbanized areas of Wolverhampton, Walsall and Oldbury before flowing through the city of Birmingham. It then turns north and eventually flows into the River Trent which, in turn, drains into the North Sea. The river was once a small, high quality stream, but, during the last century, as industrial activity and population began to increase in the West Midlands region, the water quality of the river began to suffer. The last salmon were seen in the river in 1876 and by 1945 the river was dead, devoid of all life (Environment Agency, 1998). Since then there has been some improvement in water quality due to improvements in sewerage systems. However, the water quality of the river as it flows through the Metropolitan West Midlands region is still classified by the Environment Agency as very poor. This means that only very pollution tolerant life is supported in small numbers, for example, snails, worms, leaches and a few small fish (sticklebacks) as well as limited numbers of aquatic plants. Additionally, the water in the river is hazardous to human health because of high bacterial levels and it is definitely not suitable for water-based recreational activities. There are a number of different sources of pollution that cause this poor state of water quality. Effluent from sewage works remains a problem although these facilities are currently being improved (Environment...

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