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Estimating the value of improved wastewater treatment: The case of River Ganga, India


  • Sukanya Das
  • Rabindra N. Bhattacharya
  • Ekin Birol

    () (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge)


This paper employs a stated preference environmental valuation method, namely the choice experiment method, to estimate local public’s willingness to pay (WTP) for improvements in the capacity of a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Chandernagore Municipality, located on the banks of the River Ganga. A pilot choice experiment study is conducted with 100 randomly selected Chandernagore residents and the data are analysed using the conditional logit model. The results reveal that residents of this municipality are WTP significant amounts in terms of higher monthly municipality taxes, in order to upgrade the capacity of the current STP to one that treats higher quantities of wastewater and at a higher quality, before discarding in the Ganga. With the use of the benefits transfer method, the results of this case study can provide information on the economic benefits that might be generated through the improvement of STPs in other similar municipalities located along the banks of the Ganga. Overall, the results reported in this paper have important policy implications for reducing pollution, and hence environmental and health risks that are currently threatening the sustainability of the economic, cultural and religious values this sacred river generates.

Suggested Citation

  • Sukanya Das & Rabindra N. Bhattacharya & Ekin Birol, 2009. "Estimating the value of improved wastewater treatment: The case of River Ganga, India," Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers 43.2009, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics, revised 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:lnd:wpaper:432009

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    Cited by:

    1. Birol, Ekin & Das, Sukanya, 2010. "Valuing the environment in developing countries: Modeling the impact of distrust in public authorities' ability to deliver public services on the citizens' willingness to pay for improved environmenta," IFPRI discussion papers 1043, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Ekin Birol & Sukanya Das, 2010. "Valuing the Environment in Developing Countries: Modeling the Impact of Distrust in Public Authorities’ Ability to Deliver on the Citizens’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Environmental Quality," Working Papers 2010-055, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    3. Rai, Rajesh Kumar & Scarborough, Helen, 2012. "Estimating the public benefits of mitigating damages caused by invasive plant species in a subsistence economy," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124421, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

    More about this item


    choice experiment method; conditional logit model; River Ganga; sewage treatment plant; water quality; water quantity;

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