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Open AccessArticle

Farmers’ and Consumers’ Preferences for Drinking Water Quality Improvement through Land Management Practices: The Case Study of the Soyang Watershed in South Korea

Professorship of Ecological Services, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences, BayCEER, University of Bayreuth, Universitaetsstrasse 30, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
Department of Sustainable Development Research, Korea Environment Institute, Sejong 30147, Korea
Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz University Hannover, 30167 Hannover, Germany
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1419;
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 30 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation and Sustainable Management of Land)
The drinking water quality along the Soyang watershed has been affected negatively by the intensive agricultural practices in the upstream area. Our study used a choice experiment method in order to estimate the values that the upstream water providers (i.e., farmers) and downstream water users (i.e., consumers) attach to the following attributes, namely, the agricultural profits, water quality, and biodiversity level of the Soyang watershed in South Korea. The preferences of the upstream water providers and downstream water users were presented by a conditional logit model and with interactions. The results from the conditional logit model specifications revealed that water quality is the most important attribute that is preferred by the downstream water users and upstream farmers. Both the upstream farmers and downstream water users have put substantial values on the protection of water bodies in the Soyang watershed, and are concerned about the consequences of water usage on the environment and human health. The respondents in each income group and in different local communities with income levels seemed to have different implicit costs for the water quality improvement in the Soyang watershed. Our study has provided robust results regarding the benefits of water improvement using sustainable land management and can be considered as a fundamental input for aiding the sustainable water–land nexus policies. We suggest that the government carefully designs a policy so as to compensate the highland farmers for their income losses as a result of the changing farming practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: choice experiment; stated preference; water quality improvement choice experiment; stated preference; water quality improvement
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Lee, S.; Kim, H.N.; Nguyen, T.T.; Koellner, T.; Shin, H.-J. Farmers’ and Consumers’ Preferences for Drinking Water Quality Improvement through Land Management Practices: The Case Study of the Soyang Watershed in South Korea. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1419.

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