The Benefits Of Protecting Rural Water Quality: An Empirical Analysis

Economic Research Service, Agricultural Economic Report No. 701. January 1995

32 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2016

See all articles by Stephen R. Crutchfield

Stephen R. Crutchfield

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

Peter Feather

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

Daniel Hellerstein

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

Date Written: January 22, 1995

Abstract

Concerns about the impact of farm production on the quality of the Nation's drinking and recreational water resources have risen over the past 10 years. Because point sources of pollution were controlled first, agricultural nonpoint sources have become the Nation's largest remaining single water-quality problem. Both public and private costs of policies that address the conflict between agricultural production and water quality are relevant, but measuring the off-farm benefits and costs of changing water quality is difficult. Many of the values placed on these resources are not measured in traditional ways through market prices. This report explores the use of nonmarket valuation methods to estimate the benefits of protecting or improving rural water quality from agricultural sources of pollution. Two case studies show how these valuation methods can be used to include water-quality benefits estimates in economic analyses of specific policies to prevent or reduce water pollution.

Keywords: Water quality, nonpoint source pollution, environmental quality, agricultural production, costs, benefits

JEL Classification: Q25, Q28

Suggested Citation

Crutchfield, Stephen R. and Feather, Peter and Hellerstein, Daniel, The Benefits Of Protecting Rural Water Quality: An Empirical Analysis (January 22, 1995). Economic Research Service, Agricultural Economic Report No. 701. January 1995. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2736578

Stephen R. Crutchfield (Contact Author)

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

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States

Peter Feather

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

1800 M Street, NW
Room 4077
Washington, DC 20036-5831
United States
202-694-5608 (Phone)
202-694-5756 (Fax)

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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