New report considers time lags and uncertainty in water quality valuation

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Grand River

LEAP researchers from the University of Copenhagen have released a new working paper titled ‘Assessing the value of surface water and groundwater quality improvements when time lags and outcome uncertainty exist: Results from a choice experiment survey across four different countries’. The report is authored by Tobias Holmsgaard Larsen, Thomas Lundhede, and Søren Bøye Olsen.

LEAP researchers used a choice experiment survey to address peoples’ willingness to pay for improvements in water quality, including both surface water and groundwater. This survey was conducted across four case study areas including the Grand River and its major tributaries (Canada), Limfjorden (Denmark), the Mondego River and its major tributaries (Portugal), and Lake Mälaren and Hjälmaren (Sweden). Uniquely, this research aims to capture how willingness to pay is impacted by time lags and uncertainties in water quality improvements.

In general, willingness to pay for water quality improvements for both surface and groundwater is quite high. However, this willingness to pay declines as time lags and uncertainty in water quality outcomes increases. This pattern was evident in each of the case study areas. Such changes in water quality valuation have implications for socioeconomic consequences of new water policies or management strategies.

This report meets the LEAP project deliverable 3.2 to develop a working paper with results from this choice experiment.