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An Assessment of the Benefits of Cleaner Streams: A New Zealand Case Study


  • Dan Marsh

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Lena Mkwara

    () (University of Waikato)


Water pollution is now considered to be one of the most important environmental issues facing New Zealand. Water quality in rivers, lakes and streams is generally falling alongside the increase in farming intensity. Currently, technical and regulatory mechanisms to reduce non-point source pollution from agriculture are the focus of an intensive effort involving industry, researchers, regulators and other interests. The research described in this non-technical paper complements existing knowledge by developing appropriate methodology for valuing water quality improvements in New Zealand. It is based on a case study of the Karapiro catchment in the North Island of New Zealand. It uses choice analysis to assess people’s preferences and willingness to pay for different levels of water quality improvement in catchment streams. The results indicate that respondents would be willing to pay for cleaner water for swimming, for better ecological health (with eels, bullies and smelt present), for the presence of trout and for better water clarity.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Marsh & Lena Mkwara, 2010. "An Assessment of the Benefits of Cleaner Streams: A New Zealand Case Study," Working Papers in Economics 10/06, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:10/06

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    non-market valuation; choice analysis; water quality; streams;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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