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    Author(s): Laurie L. Houston; Jeffrey D. Kline; Ralph J. Alig
    Date: 2002
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-550. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 72 p
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (338 KB)


    The use of water increasingly involves complex tradeoffs among biophysical, economic, ecological, and societal values. Knowledge about the value of water to different users and methods with which to evaluate biophysical, economic, ecological, and social tradeoffs associated with allocating limited water resources among competing uses is vital to devising appropriate and effective water resource policies. A review and synthesis of water resource economics research can contribute to a foundation on which to plan and conduct interdisciplinary research evaluating tradeoffs regarding water. It also can assist in setting research priorities for developing analytical processes and tools with which to evaluate tradeoffs, as well as develop water resource management strategies that are ecologically sound, economically efficient, and socially acceptable. Intended primarily for noneconomists, this report reviews existing water resource economics literature concerning the economic value of water in different uses in the Pacific Northwest, the evaluation of tradeoffs among uses, and the use of economic incentives for water conservation and protection or enhancement of water quality. The synthesis of water economics literature culminates in the identification of priority research topics relevant to the Pacific Northwest. An annotated bibliography of a sampling of water resource economics research is provided in an appendix.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Houston, Laurie L.; Kline, Jeffrey D.; Alig, Ralph J. 2002. Economics research supporting water resource stewardship in the Pacific Northwest. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-550. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 72 p


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    Economic values and tradeoffs, water quality and quantity, riparian species

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