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Economic valuation of environmental services sustained by water flows in the Yaqui River Delta

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  • Ojeda, Monica Ilija
  • Mayer, Alex S.
  • Solomon, Barry D.

Abstract

We attempted to estimate the economic value of environmental services provided by restored instream flows in the water-scarce Yaqui River Delta in Mexico. The Yaqui River begins near the U.S.-Mexico border and continues for 400Â km before reaching the Oviachic dam, but has not reached the nearby Gulf of California for decades due to diversions for irrigation. These diversions have degraded the riparian ecosystem, coastal wetlands, and estuaries. Environmental services provided by restored flows in the Yaqui River would include healthy riverside vegetation, wetlands and estuaries, fish and wildlife habitats, non-use values, and recreation. A contingent valuation survey in 40 neighborhoods in the most populated Delta city, Ciudad Obregon, was administered to estimate non-market values of instream uses. Respondents were given a current and hypothetical Delta scenario (the latter assumed restored water flows in the River) and asked a willingness-to-pay (WTP) question regarding purchasing water for environmental flows through higher water bills. Results from 148 in-person interviews indicated that households would pay an average of 73 pesos monthly. WTP was found related to key variables suggested by economic theory and contingent valuation studies elsewhere: income, educational level, number of children in the household, and initial bid amount. These results will allow decision makers to compare the benefits generated by different water uses, including environmental services, and to manage scarce water resources under a long-term sustainable approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Ojeda, Monica Ilija & Mayer, Alex S. & Solomon, Barry D., 2008. "Economic valuation of environmental services sustained by water flows in the Yaqui River Delta," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 155-166, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:1:p:155-166
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    2. repec:wsi:wepxxx:v:03:y:2017:i:02:n:s2382624x16500351 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jiang, Yi & Jin, Leshan & Lin, Tun, 2010. "Higher Water Tariffs for Less River Pollution—Evidence from Min River and Fuzhou City, People’s Republic of China," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 201, Asian Development Bank.
    4. Morimoto, Risako, 2013. "Incorporating socio-environmental considerations into project assessment models using multi-criteria analysis: A case study of Sri Lankan hydropower projects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 643-653.
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    6. Halkos, George & Matsiori, Steriani, 2014. "Exploring social attitude and willingness to pay for water resources conservation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 54-62.
    7. Westerberg, Vanja Holmquist & Lifran, Robert & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2010. "To restore or not? A valuation of social and ecological functions of the Marais des Baux wetland in Southern France," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2383-2393, October.
    8. Charles F. Mason & Lucija A. Muehlenbachs & Sheila M. Olmstead, 2015. "The Economics of Shale Gas Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 269-289, October.
    9. Roberto Ponce & Felipe Vásquez & Alejandra Stehr & Patrick Debels & Carlos Orihuela, 2011. "Estimating the Economic Value of Landscape Losses Due to Flooding by Hydropower Plants in the Chilean Patagonia," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 25(10), pages 2449-2466, August.
    10. Jiang, Yi & Jin, Leshan & Lin, Tun, 2011. "Higher water tariffs for less river pollution--Evidence from the Min River and Fuzhou City in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 183-195, June.
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    12. Husted, Bryan W. & Russo, Michael V. & Meza, Carlos E. Basurto & Tilleman, Suzanne G., 2014. "An exploratory study of environmental attitudes and the willingness to pay for environmental certification in Mexico," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 891-899.
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    14. Sheila M. Olmstead, 2010. "The Economics of Managing Scarce Water Resources," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 179-198, Summer.
    15. Jackson, Laura E. & Rashleigh, Brenda & McDonald, Michael E., 2012. "Economic Value of Stream Degradation across the Central Appalachians," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 0(Issue 3), pages 1-10.
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    18. Halkos, George & Matsiori, Steriani, 2017. "Estimating recreational values of coastal zones," MPRA Paper 80911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Awad, Ibrahim M., 2012. "Using econometric analysis of willingness-to-pay to investigate economic efficiency and equity of domestic water services in the West Bank," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 485-494.
    20. Polimeni, John M. & Iorgulescu, Raluca I. & Chandrasekara, Ray, 2014. "Trans-border public health vulnerability and hydroelectric projects: The case of Yali Falls Dam," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 81-89.

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