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Groundwater Contamination and Contingent Valuation of Safe Drinking Water in Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico

Listed author(s):
  • Osiel González Dávila


    (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)

Guadalupe municipality, located in a semi-arid zone, belongs to the State of Zacatecas in north-central Mexico. The population in Guadalupe has been increasing in an exponential way from the year 2000 to 2010. With a bigger population in the area more services are required, including water supply and sanitation. Guadalupe depends on groundwater for its domestic water supply. It has no access to surface water and its aquifers are overexploited. There is a high risk that in the near future the population’s water demand could not be satisfied. Therefore groundwater protection should be a priority. High levels of fluoride and arsenic have been found in extraction wells and in tap water in Guadalupe City. This may seriously affect the population’s health. An exploratory study found statistically significant correlations between the presence of arsenicosis and fluorosis symptoms and the consumption of certain food items and tap water. A contingent valuation survey is used to elicit household willingness to pay responses for safe drinking water in Guadalupe. The objective is to investigate households’ willingness to pay for improved water quality through the installation of a new filtration system to remove fluoride and arsenic from groundwater. It was found that individuals' subjective perceptions of contamination may change their attitude towards the installation of water purification systems, thereby changing the effective price of potable groundwater that they are willing to pay. It is evident that different types of contamination (by arsenic and fluoride in this case) had differing effects on values. Value estimates also changed as the socioeconomic profiles of survey respondents changed. Further, it was found that the respondents stated in average a higher WTP for the removal of fluoride (MXN 66.37) than for the removal of arsenic (MXN 56.55).

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK in its series Working Papers with number 180.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:180
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  1. Carson Richard T. & Mitchell Robert Cameron, 1995. "Sequencing and Nesting in Contingent Valuation Surveys," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 155-173, March.
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