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A transdisciplinary approach to the economic analysis of the European Water Framework Directive

Author

Listed:
  • Martin-Ortega, Julia
  • Perni, Angel
  • Jackson-Blake, Leah
  • Balana, Bedru B.
  • Mckee, Annie
  • Dunn, Sarah
  • Helliwell, Rachel
  • Psaltopoulos, Demetris
  • Skuras, Dimitris
  • Cooksley, Susan
  • Slee, Bill

Abstract

The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) prescribes economic principles to achieve its ecological targets. The aim is to establish cost-effective measures to attain good ecological status and assess whether the costs of these measures are justifiable in view of the benefits they provide. The complex nature of water problems requires flexible decision-making embracing a diversity of ‘knowledges’. Here, natural and social scientist worked together in an integrated approach ‘ground-tested’ through local stakeholders' knowledge and views. The aims were to: (1) develop a set of steps for implementing this transdisciplinary approach, and (2) critically reflect on the challenges of integrating different strands of knowledge to the specific context of the economics of the WFD. This was tested at a sub-catchment in Scotland. Hydro-chemical models were used to simulate effectiveness of phosphorous pollution mitigation measures, which was then incorporated into a cost-optimization model. Costs were compared with benefits resulting from water quality improvements. This analysis was accompanied by an iterative local stakeholder consultation process. The research further analysed whether selected measures are ‘future-proof’ in view of climate and land-use changes. Results are used to help set the research agenda for more practical specification of economically sound and socially acceptable ways to deliver the WFD.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin-Ortega, Julia & Perni, Angel & Jackson-Blake, Leah & Balana, Bedru B. & Mckee, Annie & Dunn, Sarah & Helliwell, Rachel & Psaltopoulos, Demetris & Skuras, Dimitris & Cooksley, Susan & Slee, Bill, 2015. "A transdisciplinary approach to the economic analysis of the European Water Framework Directive," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 34-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:116:y:2015:i:c:p:34-45
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.03.026
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    1. Kieslich, Marcus & Salles, Jean-Michel, 2021. "Implementation context and science-policy interfaces: Implications for the economic valuation of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C).
    2. Schönhart, Martin & Trautvetter, Helene & Parajka, Juraj & Blaschke, Alfred Paul & Hepp, Gerold & Kirchner, Mathias & Mitter, Hermine & Schmid, Erwin & Strenn, Birgit & Zessner, Matthias, 2018. "Modelled impacts of policies and climate change on land use and water quality in Austria," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 500-514.
    3. Perni, Ángel & Barreiro-Hurlé, Jesús & Martínez-Paz, José Miguel, 2020. "When policy implementation failures affect public preferences for environmental goods: Implications for economic analysis in the European water policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    4. Cortignani, Raffaele & Dell’Unto, Davide & Dono, Gabriele, 2018. "Recovering the costs of irrigation water with different pricing methods: Insights from a Mediterranean case study," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 199(C), pages 148-156.
    5. Ovando, Paola & Brouwer, Roy, 2019. "A review of economic approaches modeling the complex interactions between forest management and watershed services," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 164-176.
    6. Klauer, Bernd & Sigel, Katja & Schiller, Johannes & Hagemann, Nina & Kern, Katharina, 2015. "Unverhältnismäßige Kosten nach EG-Wasserrahmenrichtlinie: Ein Verfahren zur Begründung weniger strenger Umweltziele," UFZ Reports 01/2015, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).

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