Valuing a multistate river: the case of the River Murray
Hatton MacDonald, Darla | Morrison, Mark D. | Rose, John M. | Boyle, Kevin J.
The River Murray and the Coorong in Australia have been in a state of decline. Withthe prospect of extended droughts and shifts in inflows due to climate change, difficultchoices loom. The options include halting the decline, triage of some assets along theRiver or staying with the declining river system. To support decision-making, a surveywas designed to elicit willingness to pay for improvements in environmental quality.Over 3000 Australians responded to this survey. The study focuses on key River Murrayenvironmental quality indicators: the frequency of bird breeding along the RiverMurray, increasing native fish populations in the River Murray, increasing the area ofhealthy vegetation along the River Murray, and restoring water bird habitat in theCoorong. State/Territory models were jointly estimated using a panel multinomiallogit error-components model. Willingness to pay estimates for improvements inenvironmental quality were calculated for the River Murray and the Coorong.Respondents were found to be willing to pay most for the Coorong and to improvewaterbird breeding frequency. Respondents from the Australian Capital Territorywere found to have significantly higher willingness to pay whereas those in Victoriahad a significantly lower willingness to pay than respondents in other states.Show more [+] Less [-]