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An Applied Assessment Model to Evaluate the Socioeconomic Impact of Water Quality Regulations in Chile

  • Matthew Yarrow


  • Antonio Tironi
  • Alejandro Ramírez
  • Víctor Marín
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    In many developing countries, natural resource management is based on traditional, expert-based methods that often exclude a variety of stakeholders. This paper presents a conceptual model and methodology that represent a first step toward a more integrated evaluation and management of large basins. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of the application of secondary water quality regulations in the Aysén River Basin of Southern Chile. We employ the concept of physical, ecological and social (PHES)-system as a conceptual framework. Three indices based on this framework were created to characterize different aspects of the Aysén Basin: an environmental vulnerability index, an index of the water quality impact of the different economic sectors, and an index that quantifies the economic contribution of these sectors. Finally the three indices were combined as a measure of the socioeconomic impact of the proposed regulations in what we referred to as the ‘applied assessment model’. Our results suggest that the applied regulations would have little socioeconomic impact on the Aysén Basin. Finally we discuss challenges to integrated watershed assessment in the context of developing countries. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Water Resources Management.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1531-1543

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:waterr:v:22:y:2008:i:11:p:1531-1543
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    1. Munda, Giuseppe, 1996. "Cost-benefit analysis in integrated environmental assessment: some methodological issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 157-168, November.
    2. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
    3. Henrique Chaves & Suzana Alipaz, 2007. "An Integrated Indicator Based on Basin Hydrology, Environment, Life, and Policy: The Watershed Sustainability Index," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 883-895, May.
    4. Ashish Pandey & V. Chowdary & B. Mal, 2007. "Identification of critical erosion prone areas in the small agricultural watershed using USLE, GIS and remote sensing," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 729-746, April.
    5. Telle, Kjetil & Larsson, Jan, 2007. "Do environmental regulations hamper productivity growth? How accounting for improvements of plants' environmental performance can change the conclusion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 438-445, March.
    6. Spash, Clive L. & Hanley, N, 1994. "Preferences, information and biodiversity preservation," MPRA Paper 38351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Christainsen, Gregory B. & Haveman, Robert H., 1981. "The contribution of environmental regulations to the slowdown in productivity growth," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 381-390, December.
    8. Martin Volk & Jesko Hirschfeld & Gerd Schmidt & Carsten Bohn & Alexandra Dehnhardt & Stefan Liersch & Leo Lymburner, 2007. "A SDSS-based Ecological-economic Modelling Approach for Integrated River Basin Management on Different Scale Levels – The Project FLUMAGIS," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 21(12), pages 2049-2061, December.
    9. Caroline Sullivan & Jeremy Meigh, 2007. "Integration of the biophysical and social sciences using an indicator approach: Addressing water problems at different scales," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 111-128, January.
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