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Water Science & Technology Vol 45 No 9 pp 235–242 © IWA Publishing 2002

Willingness to pay for flood and ecological risk reduction in an urban watershed

D.E. Clark*, V. Novotny**, R. Griffin***, D. Booth****, A. Bartošová*****, M.C. Daun****** and M. Hutchinson*******

*Department of Economics, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. Institute for Urban Environmental Risk Management, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA
**Institute for Urban Environmental Risk Management, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA
***Institute for Urban Environmental Risk Management, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. Department of Communications, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA
****Department of Economics, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. Department of Communications, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA
*****Institute for Urban Environmental Risk Management, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA
******Institute for Urban Environmental Risk Management, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. The University of Wisconsin Law School, University of Wisconsin, 975 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706, USA
*******Department of Economics, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. Institute for Urban Environmental Risk Management, Marquette University, Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA


ABSTRACT
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.

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