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Social Preferences for Improving Water Quality: An Economic Analysis of Benefits from Wastewater Treatment

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  • Areti Kontogianni

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  • Ian Langford
  • Andreas Papandreou
  • Mihalis Skourtos

Abstract

Greece has a large number of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) under construction or recently completed. However, whilst the European Union provides funds for the capital development of WWTPs, there is often a lack of funding to maintain full operation of these plants. This study examines the case of a WWTP in Thessaloniki, Greece, which is currently only partially operational. We use the contingent valuation method to examine the willingness to pay of individuals to ensure the full operation of the WWTP, leading to significantimprovements in the water quality of Thermaikos Bay, which is adjacent to Thessaloniki. The average amount pledged of Euro 15.23 due every four months as an incremental increase in water rates matches the funding required to fully operate the plant. By examining the motivations of those willing to pay, we find that a complex combination of consumer and citizen modes of cognition, linked to self identity and pride in the city as well as moral and ethical concerns, determine individuals' commitment to the water quality improvement scheme. These findings have serious policy implications for gauging public support for environmental improvements. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Areti Kontogianni & Ian Langford & Andreas Papandreou & Mihalis Skourtos, 2003. "Social Preferences for Improving Water Quality: An Economic Analysis of Benefits from Wastewater Treatment," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 17(5), pages 317-336, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:waterr:v:17:y:2003:i:5:p:317-336 DOI: 10.1023/A:1025866818391
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ian H. Langford & Ian J. Bateman & Andrew P. Jones & Hugh D. Langford & Stavros Georgiou, 1998. "Improved Estimation of Willingness to Pay in Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation Studies," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(1), pages 65-75.
    2. Georgiou, Stavros & Bateman, Ian J. & Langford, Ian H. & Day, Rosemary J., 2000. "Coastal bathing water health risks: developing means of assessing the adequacy of proposals to amend the 1976 EC directive," Risk, Decision and Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 49-68, April.
    3. Roy Brouwer & Neil Powe & R. Kerry Turner & Ian J. Bateman & Ian H. Langford, 1999. "Public Attitudes to Contingent Valuation and Public Consultation," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 8(3), pages 325-347, August.
    4. S Georgiou & I H Langford & I J Bateman & R K Turner, 1998. "Determinants of individuals' willingness to pay for perceived reductions in environmental health risks: a case study of bathing water quality," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(4), pages 577-594, April.
    5. Kontogianni, Areti & Skourtos, Mihalis S. & Langford, Ian H. & Bateman, Ian J. & Georgiou, Stavros, 2001. "Integrating stakeholder analysis in non-market valuation of environmental assets," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 123-138, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahtiainen, Heini & Vanhatalo, Jarno, 2012. "The value of reducing eutrophication in European marine areas — A Bayesian meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 1-10.
    2. Halkos, George, 2012. "The use of contingent valuation in assessing marine and coastal ecosystems’ water quality: A review," MPRA Paper 42183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bertram, Christine & Rehdanz, Katrin, 2013. "On the environmental effectiveness of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive," Marine Policy, Elsevier, pages 25-40.
    4. Michael Kaplowitz & Frank Lupi & Oscar Arreola, 2012. "Local Markets for Payments for Environmental Services: Can Small Rural Communities Self-Finance Watershed Protection?," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 26(13), pages 3689-3704, October.
    5. Veronesi, Marcella & Chawla, Fabienne & Maurer, Max & Lienert, Judit, 2014. "Climate change and the willingness to pay to reduce ecological and health risks from wastewater flooding in urban centers and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-10.
    6. Halkos, George E. & Jones, Nikoleta, 2012. "Modeling the effect of social factors on improving biodiversity protection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 90-99.
    7. Halkos, George & Galani, Georgia, 2016. "Assessing willingness to pay for marine and coastal ecosystems: A Case Study in Greece," MPRA Paper 68767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Halkos, George & Matsiori, Steriani & Dritsas, Sophoclis, 2017. "Exploring social values for marine protected areas: The case of Mediterranean monk seal," MPRA Paper 82490, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ben Brahim-Neji, Hella & Ruiz-Villaverde, Alberto & González-Gómez, Francisco, 2014. "Decision aid supports for evaluating agricultural water reuse practices in Tunisia: The Cebala perimeter," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 113-121.
    10. Peng, Marcus & Oleson, Kirsten L.L., 2017. "Beach Recreationalists' Willingness to Pay and Economic Implications of Coastal Water Quality Problems in Hawaii," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 41-52.
    11. Zhang, Fan & Fogarty, James, 2015. "Nonmarket Valuation of Water Sensitive Cities: Current Knowledge and Issues," Working Papers 207694, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    12. Guofang Zhai & Takeshi Suzuki, 2009. "Evaluating Economic Value of Coastal Waterfront in Tokyo Bay, Japan with Willingness-to-Accept Measure," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 23(4), pages 633-645, March.
    13. Georgios Tentes & Dimitrios Damigos, 2012. "The Lost Value of Groundwater: The Case of Asopos River Basin in Central Greece," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 26(1), pages 147-164, January.
    14. M. Genius & E. Hatzaki & E. Kouromichelaki & G. Kouvakis & S. Nikiforaki & K. Tsagarakis, 2008. "Evaluating Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Potable Water Quality and Quantity," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 22(12), pages 1825-1834, December.
    15. Jones, Nikoleta & Sophoulis, Costas M. & Malesios, Chrisovaladis, 2008. "Economic valuation of coastal water quality and protest responses: A case study in Mitilini, Greece," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2478-2491, December.
    16. 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.
    17. Halkos, George & Jones, Nikoleta, 2011. "Social factors influencing the decision to pay for the protection of biodiversity: A case study in two national parks of Northern Greece," MPRA Paper 34581, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Togridou, Anatoli & Hovardas, Tasos & Pantis, John D., 2006. "Determinants of visitors' willingness to pay for the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, Greece," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 308-319, November.
    19. Mullen, Jeffrey D. & Calhoun, Kayla & Colson, Gregory & Kriesel, Warren, 2015. "Effects of Uncertainty on Support for Water Quality Improvement Programs," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205419, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    20. Stefanos Xenarios & Kostas Bithas, 2009. "Welfare Improvisation from the Receiving Waters of Urban Wastewater Systems in the Context of the Water Framework Directive," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 23(5), pages 981-1000, March.

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