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Land Use Change and Ecosystem Valuation in North Georgia


  • Ngugi, Daniel
  • Mullen, Jeffrey D.
  • Bergstrom, John C.


A model of land allocation at the aggregate watershed level was developed assuming profit/net benefit maximization under risk neutrality. The econometric land use model was analyzed as an equation by equation SURE model as all the independent variables were the same for both equations. In analyzing effect of land use change on water quality, we took year 2005 as our baseline and postulated three land use scenarios. We applied Benefit Transfer techniques to value water quality changes resulting from land use change and estimated lower bounds for WTP to improve water quality to meet the FCB criterion for drinking water supply and fishing waters and BOD (DO) criteria for fishing waters. Water quality modeling revealed that land use change would result in increased runoff, and associated increase in FCB and BOD/DO violations. But the BOD/DO violations could be curtailed by managing urban growth as evidenced absence of BOD violations in the managed growth scenario. Our study finds there may be problems of FCB under all postulated future land use scenarios. The findings also support existing literature that there are problems with FCB violation in the study area at the moment. Finally, it seems that the people of UCRB would be willing to pay a lower bound value between USD 15,785,740 and USD 16,141,230 per year to create and maintain quality standards for fishing and drinking water supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngugi, Daniel & Mullen, Jeffrey D. & Bergstrom, John C., 2008. "Land Use Change and Ecosystem Valuation in North Georgia," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6119, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6119

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Russell, Clifford S. & Vaughan, William J., 1982. "The national recreational fishing benefits of water pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 328-354, December.
    2. Torras, Mariano, 2000. "The total economic value of Amazonian deforestation, 1978-1993," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 283-297, May.
    3. John C. Bergstrom & Paul Civita, 1999. "Status of Benefits Transfer in the United States and Canada: A Review," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 47(1), pages 79-87, March.
    4. Timothy J. Bartik, 2008. "Evaluating the Benefits of Non-marginal Reductions in Pollution Using Information on Defensive Expenditures," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Joseph Herriges & Catherine L. Kling (ed.), Revealed Preference Approaches to Environmental Valuation, volume 0, pages 459-475 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    5. Acharya, Gayatri, 2000. "Approaches to valuing the hidden hydrological services of wetland ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 63-74, October.
    6. Loomis, John & Kent, Paula & Strange, Liz & Fausch, Kurt & Covich, Alan, 2000. "Measuring the total economic value of restoring ecosystem services in an impaired river basin: results from a contingent valuation survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 103-117, April.
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    More about this item


    Ecosystem; Economic value; North Georgia; land use; land use change; fish; water quality; structural time series; willingness to pay; benefit transfer; forecasting; vector autoregression; Upper Chattahoochee River; Environmental Economics and Policy; Land Economics/Use;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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