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    WP6: The non-market value of reclaimed wastewater for use in agriculture in the context of WPD. 2010.

Alcón P.; Pedrero F.; Martín-Ortega, J.; Arcas, N.; Alarcón; J.J.; de Miguel, M.D. 4TH MELIA WORKSHOP. Aman (Jordan)

Conventional water resources are currently over-exploited in large parts of southern Europe and the Mediterranean countries. In this light, reclaimed waste water is increasingly seen as an alternative water source. As part of assessing the viability of reclaimed waste water, a comprehensive economic analysis is needed. Within this economic assessment all environmental should be included to ensure an efficient and sustainable allocation of the water resource. This is also in line with the approach taken in the EU Water Framework Directive. In this study we test for the hypothesis that the public derives significant non-market environmental benefits of the use of reclaimed waste water for irrigation, beyond those benefits reflected in the market. We illustrate this by applying a contingent valuation study in the Segura river basin in southeastern Spain. We obtain that inhabitants of the river basin are willing to increase their water bill in 15.97 % to ensure these benefits. Moreover, the analysis of preference heterogeneity suggests that the use of reclaimed waste water in agriculture, and the associated additional costs, is more acceptable to the population if it is made more aware of its current payment for water sanitation as part of the water bill. The inclusion of these non-market benefits and their comparison with the implementation costs will allow for better informed water management.

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