Environmental Economics

The Recreation Benefits of Water Quality Improvements: Analysis of Day Trips in an Urban Setting

This study is an inquiry into how water quality affects the recreation objectives of the Pollution Control Act. While national estimates of the recreation benefits stemming from water quality improvement could help evaluate and administer the nation's water pollution control program, such estimates were not the objective of this project. The purpose of this report is more limited. The principal objective was to advance the methodology for estimating the recreation benefits of water quality enhancement. To further this objective, data on the recreation habits of a sample of 467 Boston area household was collected in the course of the project.
The research also explores some of the fringes of recreation economics as well. The authors examine the importance of factors such as setting, facilities, and maintenance in site choice. The distinction between benefits from water quality as a merit good are drawn and to a lesser extent quantified. Recreationists' perception of water quality is compared with objective measures of water quality and the authors investigate the potential for reducing the many dimensions which define water quality to a smaller number of composite measures.
The downloadable files and their contents are as follows:

    File EE-0308-01:
      Chapter 1. Introduction and Summary
      Chapter 2. Recreation and Measures of Its Benefits
      Chapter 3. Multiple Site Demand Models for Recreation Sites
      Chapter 4. Site and Household Samples, Survey and Characteristics
    File EE-0308-02:
      Chapter 5. Direct Empirical Findings on Site Choice and Water Quality Perception
      Chapter 6. Willingness-to-pay
      Chapter 7. Multiple Site Demand Functions
    File EE-0308-03:
      Chapter 8. Conclusions
      Appendix 1. Site Facility Inventory Form
      Appendix 2. Water Quality Sampling
      Appendix 3. The Survey Instrument
    1. Benefits Analysis
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Revealed Preference
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Revealed Preference - Travel Cost
    Environmental Media:
    b. Water
    b. Water - Surface
    Binkley, Clark S.
    Hanemann, W. Michael
    EPA Project Officer/ Manager:
    Tihansky, Dennis P.
    Geographic Area:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Study Purpose:
    Empirical Application
    Inventory Record #: EE-0308
  • Participating Organizations

    Research Organization:

    Urban Systems Research and Engineering, Inc.Address: 1218 Massachusetts Avenue
    City: Cambridge State: Mass ZIP: 02138
    Phone: Fax:
    Funding Organization:
    Environmental Protection Agency,
    Office of Research and Development, Office of Health and Ecological Effects
    City: Washington State: DC ZIP: 20460
    Phone: Fax:
  • Report Details
    Number of Pages:
    EPA #:
    NTIS #:
    Grant/Contract #:
  • How to Obtain Report

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    Date Linked: 05/28/2009
    Other Ways to Obtain the Report:
    You may be able to obtain this report by contacting the National Technical Information Service (NTIS):
    By phone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
    By mail: NTIS, Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161;
    By World Wide Web: [http://www.ntis.gov].
    You will need the following NTIS report #: PB257719