The Value of the Reservoir Services Gained with Soil Conservation

Land Economics, Vol. 83, No. 3, pp. 285-301, August 2007

Posted: 4 Feb 2008

See all articles by LeRoy Hansen

LeRoy Hansen

(Former) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) -- retired

Daniel Hellerstein

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS), Resource and Rural Economics Division

Abstract

To evaluate the impact of soil conservation on reservoir services, we extend replacement cost theory to cases where reservoir benefits are restored or preserved for multiple years. The framework is used to value the effect that a marginal change in soil erosion has on current and future reservoir benefits. Results show that, across the 2,111 U.S watersheds, a one-ton reduction in soil erosion provides benefits ranging from zero to $1.38. Furthermore, in a policy application, the lower soil erosion level in 1997, relative to 1982, was shown to have conserved $154 million in reservoir benefits.

Keywords: soil conservation benefits, environmental asset, replacement cost theory, reservoir benefits, reservoir sedimentation

JEL Classification: Q26, Q51, Q58

Suggested Citation

Hansen, LeRoy and Hellerstein, Daniel, The Value of the Reservoir Services Gained with Soil Conservation. Land Economics, Vol. 83, No. 3, pp. 285-301, August 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1089527

LeRoy Hansen (Contact Author)

(Former) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) -- retired ( email )

1214 N. Dinwiddie St.
Arlington, VA 22205-2533
United States
703 527 1926 (Phone)

Daniel Hellerstein

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS), Resource and Rural Economics Division ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5613 (Phone)
202-694-5756 (Fax)

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