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Water Companies' Service Performance and Environmental Trade-offs


  • K. G. Willis
  • P. L. Mcmahon
  • G. D. Garrod
  • N. A. Powe


Water companies have to ensure that supply and demand for water are kept in balance. This can necessitate the development of new sources of supply that may conflict with local wildlife interests. The paper reviews the policy background to this problem in the UK. It then presents an appraisal of a project to artificially recharge an aquifer with river water during the winter period, and abstract the water in the summer to augment shortages during drought conditions. The research investigates the preference trade-offs of water company customers between increasing security of supply and potential environmental impacts on local wetland sites and river flows. A cost-benefit analysis of the project is presented. The study also reveals a disparity between the site-specific valuation and that generated using the Environment Agency's approved benefit transfer guidelines.

Suggested Citation

  • K. G. Willis & P. L. Mcmahon & G. D. Garrod & N. A. Powe, 2002. "Water Companies' Service Performance and Environmental Trade-offs," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 363-379.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:45:y:2002:i:3:p:363-379
    DOI: 10.1080/09640560220133405

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Lanz & Allan Provins, 2015. "Using discrete choice experiments to regulate the provision of water services: do status quo choices reflect preferences?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 300-324, June.
    2. Doherty, Edel & Murphy, Geraldine & Hynes, Stephen & Buckley, Cathal, 2013. "Are similar ecosystem services valued differently across different water body types: A discrete choice analysis of rivers, lakes and sea attributes?," Working Papers 160055, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
    3. Powe, N.A. & Garrod, G.D. & McMahon, P.L., 2005. "Mixing methods within stated preference environmental valuation: choice experiments and post-questionnaire qualitative analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 513-526, March.

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