Environmental Economics

A Comparison of Alternative Approaches for Estimating Recreation and Related Benefits of Water Quality Improvements

This Research Triangle Institute (RTI) report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compares alternative approaches for estimation the recreation and related benefits of water quality improvements. The results provide information on the performance of various ways to estimate the benefits of environmental quality improvements, so EPA can use such methods in preparing the regulatory impact analyses required by Executive Order 12291 and in evaluating other regulatory proposals. This report is also relevant to the proposed revision of the Federal water quality standards regulations, which recommends that States consider incremental benefits and costs in setting their water quality standards. Site-specific water quality standards are likely to play an important role in future water policy issues because they bring together the crucial elements of appropriate stream uses and advanced treatment requirements for municipalities and industries. Benefit-cost assessments can yield valuable information for these decisions.
The report is available in this database, and contains the following sections:

    Chapter 1: Introduction, Objectives, and Summary.
    Chapter 2: A Review of the Conceptual Basis for Benefit Estimation Approaches.
    Chapter 3: Survey Design

    Chapter 4: Contingent Valuation Design and Results: Option Price and User Values.
    Chapter 5: Contingent Valuation Design and Results: Option and Existence Values.
    Chapter 6: Contingent Ranking Design and Results: Option Prices.
    Chapter 7: A Generalized Travel Cost Model for Measuring the Recreational Benefits of Water Quality Improvements.
    Chapter 8: Comparison of Alternative Approaches for Estimating Recreation and Related Benefits.
    Chapter 9: References

    Appendix A: Sample Design.
    Appendix B: Survey Form and Procedures.
    Appendix C: Survey Analysis: Supporting Tables.

    Appendix D: Survey Questionnaires.
    Appendix E: Technical Water Quality Measures: An Economists' Perspective.
    Appendix F: Travel Cost: Supporting Tables.

    Appendix G: Alternative Regression Models.
    1. Benefits Analysis
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Stated Preference
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Stated Preference - Contingent Valuation
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Revealed Preference
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Revealed Preference - Travel Cost
    Environmental Media:
    b. Water
    b. Water - Surface
    Desvousges, William H.
    Smith, V. Kerry
    McGivney, Matthew P.
    EPA Project Officer/ Manager:
    Fisher, Ann
    Geographic Area:
    Study Purpose:
    Empirical Application, Methodology Development & Evaluation
    Inventory Record #: EE-0017
  • Participating Organizations

    Research Organization:

    Research Triangle InstituteAddress:
    City: Research Triangle Park State: NC ZIP: 27709
    Phone: Fax:
    Funding Organization:
    Environmental Protection Agency
    Economic Analysis Division
    City: Washington State: DC ZIP: 20460
    Phone: Fax:
  • Report Details
    Number of Pages:
    EPA #:
    Grant/Contract #:
  • How to Obtain Report

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    Date Linked: 05/28/2009