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Review of Water Resource Benefit Values (2008)

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Review of Water Resource Benefit Values (2008)

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The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), inter alia, requires Member States to achieve at least good quality water status by 2015. To meet this requirement, it is envisaged that a number of initiatives will need to be undertaken to upgrade existing water bodies. The WFD requires the use of economic analysis in making choices between alternative initiatives and in justifying, where appropriate, either a deferral of achievement of the good status objectives or the adoption of a target below good status.

Economic analysis often puts monetary values on benefits arising from initiatives, and by contrasting these with the cost of the initiatives, reaches a view as to whether the initiatives are justified in economic terms. In the context of the WFD, this would require ascribing values to water resource benefits. The estimation of water resource benefit values is a substantial research activity internationally, although to date such values have been used relatively infrequently in Ireland.

The purpose of this review was to establish the degree to which such water resources values are available, both nationally and abroad, and to evaluate the robustness of these figures and their transferability to specific Irish conditions.


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