A framework for valuing the health benefits of improved bathing water quality in the River Irvine catchment

You are viewing information about the paper A framework for valuing the health benefits of improved bathing water quality in the River Irvine catchment.

Journal: J Environ Manage 2007/12/25
Published: 2008
Authors: Johnson, E. K.;Moran, D.;Vinten, A. J.
Address: Kingston, ON, Canada.

A simple model predicting bathing water concentrations of Escherichia coli from livestock in the Irvine catchment in SW Scotland has been adapted for intestinal enterococci (IE). This has been used to predict risk of bather illness by extrapolation of published data on bather IE exposure vs incidence of gastro-enteritis. Simulated reduction in the risk of illness by reduced faecal loading was multiplied by a willingness to pay for risk reduction to estimate the annual benefits of mitigation. Health benefits of reducing loading by 75% at Irvine Beach were estimated by a willingness to pay method to be about pound 276k pa. Estimated annualised costs of diffuse pollution mitigation measures across the catchment were higher (> pound 1m), and it is very unlikely that 75% mitigation is achievable with current stocking rates. Further work should explore the influence of uncertainty of model parameters, and use emerging epidemiological information on specific zoonotic pathogens such as E. coli O157 and Cryptosporidium. Other components of the value of clean water should also be included to obtain a complete estimate of the cost:benefit of mitigation.

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