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Benefits Transfer and Low Flow Alleviation: What Lessons for Environmental Valuation in the UK?


  • Dominic Moran


Use of environmental valuation and benefits transfer in a recent legal ruling in the UK between Thames Water Utilities and the Environment Agency over water abstraction costs appeared to set an unfortunate precedent. In the first attempt to fulfil its statutory duties, the Agency was thwarted in its use and interpretation of non-market valuation techniques, in particular, the vexed issue of how to aggregate the results of valuation studies in original sites or those to where values might be transferred. The ruling has broader implications for water pricing and resource development by the industry. Far from being a blow for either cost-benefit analysis or environmental valuation, the decision highlights some of the research imperatives for the derivation of non-market values by economists and their translation for use in government decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominic Moran, 1999. "Benefits Transfer and Low Flow Alleviation: What Lessons for Environmental Valuation in the UK?," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(3), pages 425-436.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:42:y:1999:i:3:p:425-436
    DOI: 10.1080/09640569911172

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    Cited by:

    1. I.J. Bateman & A.P. Jones & A.A. Lovett & I.R. Lake & B.H. Day, 2002. "Applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to Environmental and Resource Economics," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 219-269, June.
    2. Wronka, T.C. & Thiele, H., 2002. "Transfer von Umweltgüterbewertungen: Möglichkeiten, Grenzen und empirsiche Evidenz," Proceedings "Schriften der Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaues e.V.", German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA), vol. 37.
    3. Nick Hanley & Carol A. Salt & Mike Wilson & Meara Culligan-Dunsmore, 2001. "Evaluating alternative "countermeasures" against food contamination resulting from nuclear accidents," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 92-109.
    4. Bateman, Ian J. & Day, Brett H. & Georgiou, Stavros & Lake, Iain, 2006. "The aggregation of environmental benefit values: Welfare measures, distance decay and total WTP," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 450-460, December.
    5. van der Horst, Dan, 2006. "Spatial cost-benefit thinking in multi-functional forestry; towards a framework for spatial targeting of policy interventions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 171-180, August.
    6. Rebecca Moore & Bill Provencher & Richard C. Bishop, 2011. "Valuing a Spatially Variable Environmental Resource: Reducing Non-Point-Source Pollution in Green Bay, Wisconsin," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(1), pages 45-59.

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