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Defining Groundwater Remediation Objectives with Cost-benefit Analysis: Does It Work?


  • Jean-Daniel Rinaudo

    () (BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières)

  • Stéphanie Aulong

    (BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières)


The use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is increasingly advocated as a tool for supporting water planning decisions, in particular at the local (site) level. This paper questions whether CBA is relevant for evaluating groundwater management options at the scale of large regional aquifers. It highlights the difficulties related to estimating the cost of groundwater protection and remediation measures at the regional (water body) level. It also identifies methodological challenges in estimating the economic value of the benefits of groundwater protection. The paper is based on an original case study carried out on the upper Rhine valley aquifer in eastern France. The methodology deployed combines engineering approaches to assess the cost of remediation and economic methods (contingent valuation) to estimate the benefits associated with groundwater improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Daniel Rinaudo & Stéphanie Aulong, 2014. "Defining Groundwater Remediation Objectives with Cost-benefit Analysis: Does It Work?," Post-Print hal-00934930, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00934930
    DOI: 10.1007/s11269-013-0483-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ryan, Mandy & Scott, David A. & Donaldson, Cam, 2004. "Valuing health care using willingness to pay: a comparison of the payment card and dichotomous choice methods," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 237-258, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Richard Carson & Nicholas Flores & Norman Meade, 2001. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 173-210, June.
    4. Rozan, A. & Stenger, A. & Willinger, M., 1997. "Valeur de préservation de la qualité de l'eau souterraine : une comparaison entre usagers et non-usagers," Cahiers d'Economie et de Sociologie Rurales (CESR), INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), vol. 45.
    5. Edwards, Steven F., 1988. "Option prices for groundwater protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 475-487, December.
    6. Roy Brouwer, 2008. "The potential role of stated preference methods in the Water Framework Directive to assess disproportionate costs," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(5), pages 597-614.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Romain Craste & Bengt Kriström & Pere Riera, 2014. "Non-market valuation in France: An overview of the research activity," Working Papers hal-01087365, HAL.
    2. Corentin Girard & Jean-Daniel Rinaudo & Manuel Pulido-Velazquez, 2015. "Index-Based Cost-Effectiveness Analysis vs. Least-Cost River Basin Optimization Model: Comparison in the Selection of a Programme of Measures at the River Basin Scale," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 29(11), pages 4129-4155, September.

    More about this item


    Cost-benefit analysis; Groundwater remediation; Contingent valuation survey; Volatile organic compounds (VOC); Willingness to pay;

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