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Open AccessArticle

Towards a Comprehensive Valuation of Water Management Projects When Data Availability Is Incomplete—The Use of Benefit Transfer Techniques

by Michael Ahlheim 1,*, Oliver Frör 2,†, Jing Luo 3,†, Sonna Pelz 1,† and Tong Jiang 4,5
1
Institute of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart 70593, Germany
2
Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau 76829, Germany
3
Research Center for China's Borderland History and Geography, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100732, China
4
National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
5
School of Geography and Remote Sensing/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Markus Disse
Water 2015, 7(5), 2472-2493; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7052472
Received: 30 March 2015 / Revised: 6 May 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
In this paper we deal with the problem of missing data in environmental cost-benefit analysis. If government pursues the goal of maximizing social welfare, this implies that public funds should be allocated to those uses where they generate the highest net social benefit. This criterion makes it necessary to conduct cost-benefit analyses for public projects. While the assessment of project costs is typically rather straightforward, a comprehensive assessment of the project benefits is more complicated because one has to consider that also people living far away from the project site might benefit from that project. Neglecting these so-called passive use benefits would lead to a systematic undervaluation of environmental projects, thereby reducing their chances of being realized. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis would, therefore, require benefit assessment studies in all areas where passive use values might occur. Obviously, this would be impossible. In this paper we show how the assessment of the social benefits from environmental projects can be enhanced even with an imperfect database by using benefit transfer techniques. This is also illustrated empirically using an example from Northwest China. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable water management; contingent valuation method; benefit transfer; passive use values sustainable water management; contingent valuation method; benefit transfer; passive use values
MDPI and ACS Style

Ahlheim, M.; Frör, O.; Luo, J.; Pelz, S.; Jiang, T. Towards a Comprehensive Valuation of Water Management Projects When Data Availability Is Incomplete—The Use of Benefit Transfer Techniques. Water 2015, 7, 2472-2493.

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