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Benefits of Safer Drinking Water: The Value of Nitrate Reduction

Author

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  • Crutchfield, Stephen R.
  • Cooper, Joseph C.
  • Hellerstein, Daniel

Abstract

Nitrates in drinking water, which may come from nitrogen fertilizers applied to crops, are a potential health risk. This report evaluates the potential benefits of reducing human exposure to nitrates in the drinking water supply. In a survey, respondents were asked a series of questions about their willingness to pay for a hypothetical water filter, which would reduce their risk of nitrate exposure. If nitrates in the respondent's drinking water were to exceed the EPA minimum safety standard, they would be willing to pay $45 to $60, per household, per month, to reduce nitrates in their drinking water to the minimum safety standard. There are 2.9 million households in the four regions studied (White River area of Indiana, Central Nebraska, Lower Susquehanna, and Mid-Columbia Basin in Washington). If all households potentially at risk were protected from excessive nitrates in drinking water the estimated benefits would be $350 million.

Suggested Citation

  • Crutchfield, Stephen R. & Cooper, Joseph C. & Hellerstein, Daniel, 1997. "Benefits of Safer Drinking Water: The Value of Nitrate Reduction," Agricultural Economics Reports 34025, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:34025
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/34025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph C. Cooper, 1994. "A Comparison of Approaches to Calculating Confidence Intervals for Benefit Measures from Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation Surveys," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(1), pages 111-122.
    2. Ribaudo, Marc O. & Hellerstein, Daniel, 1992. "Estimating Water Quality Benefits: Theoretical and Methodological Issues," Technical Bulletins 157031, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Downing, Mark & Ozuna, Teofilo Jr., 1996. "Testing the Reliability of the Benefit Function Transfer Approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 316-322, May.
    4. Crutchfield, Stephen R. & Feather, Peter & Hellerstein, Daniel, 1995. "Benefits of Protecting Rural Water Quality: An Empirical Analysis," Agricultural Economics Reports 33949, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. Peter Feather & Daniel Hellerstein, 1997. "Calibrating Benefit Function Transfer to Assess the Conservation Reserve Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 151-162.
    6. V. Kerry Smith, 1993. "Nonmarket Valuation of Environmental Resources: An Interpretive Appraisal," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-26.
    7. Edwards, Steven F., 1988. "Option prices for groundwater protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 475-487, December.
    8. Cooper Joseph C., 1993. "Optimal Bid Selection for Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation Surveys," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 25-40, January.
    9. Richard C. Ready & Jean C. Buzby & Dayuan Hu, 1996. "Differences between Continuous and Discrete Contingent Value Estimates," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(3), pages 397-411.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Buzby, Jean C. & Fox, John A. & Ready, Richard C. & Crutchfleld, Stephen R., 1998. "Measuring Consumer Benefits of Food Safety Risk Reductions," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(01), pages 69-82, July.
    2. Olivier Beaumais & Anne Briand & Katrin Millock & Céline Nauges, 2010. "What are Households Willing to Pay for Better Tap Water Quality ? A Cross-Country Valuation Study," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00497453, HAL.
    3. Atwood, Jay D. & Knight, Lynn & Cattaneo, Andrea & Smith, Peter F., 2003. "Benefit Cost Analysis Of The 2002 Eqip Farm Bill Provisions," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 21992, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Cattaneo, Andrea & Claassen, Roger & Johansson, Robert C. & Weinberg, Marca, 2005. "Flexible Conservation Measures on Working Land: What Challenges Lie Ahead?," Economic Research Report 7248, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. Feather, Peter & Hellerstein, Daniel & Hansen, LeRoy T., 1999. "Economic Valuation of Environmental Benefits and the Targeting of Conservation Programs: The Case of the CRP," Agricultural Economics Reports 34027, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. repec:eee:ecoser:v:18:y:2016:i:c:p:175-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lazo, Jeffrey K. & Waldman, Donald M. & Ottem, Thomas D. & Wheeler, William J., 2003. "Benefits Of Reducing Domestic Well Nitrate Contamination From Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: A National Model Of Groundwater Contamination," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22143, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Phoebe Koundouri & Nikos Papandreou & Kyriaki Remoundou & Yiannis Kountouris, 2013. "A Bird s Eye View of the Greek Water Situation: The Potential for the Implementation of the EU WFD," DEOS Working Papers 1309, Athens University of Economics and Business.
    9. Poe, Gregory L. & Boyle, Kevin J. & Bergstrom, John C., 2000. "A Meta Analysis Of Contingent Values For Groundwater Quality In The United States," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21871, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Henrik Andersson & Emmanuelle Lavaine, 2018. "Nitrates and property values: evidence from a french market intervention," CEE-M Working Papers 18-06, CEE-M, Universtiy of Montpellier, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro.

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