Willingness to Pay for Flood and Ecological Risk Reduction in an Urban Watershed

Diane K. Novotny, Marquette University
David Clark, Marquette University
Robert Griffin, Marquette University
Douglas Booth, Marquette University
Alena Bartosova, Marquette University
M Hutchinson, Marquette University

Water Science and Technology, Vol. 45, No. 9, (2002), pp. 235-242.

URL: http://www.iwaponline.com/wst/04509/wst045090235.htm


Urban watershed managers frequently must address alternative policy goals; flood control and ecological risk reduction. This study combines hydrologic models of flood control and biotic models of ecologic risk with economic models of willingness-to-pay and psychological models of risk processing and planned behavior to evaluate these two alternative policy objectives. The findings reveal that flood risk exposure, especially for those individuals who would remain outside the 100 year flood plain if the project were enacted, does influence the financial support that local residents would be willing to make to a flood control project. Other important determinants include demographic factors such as income, and attitudinal measures of the respondent. Expanding the scope of the project to include ecological risk reduction does not, however, appear to change the average willingness-to-pay for a project.