To address the poor health of approximately one third of Victoria's rivers, current government targets include delivering significant improvements in river health by 2010. The quantification of benefits associated with improvements in river health arising from policy initiatives and projects enables the use of benefit-cost analysis to assess the viability of investment options. The non-market valuation technique known as choice modelling was used to generate benefit estimates for a selection of Victorian rivers. Monetary values were estimated for four attributes of environmental improvement: the percentage of pre-settlement fish species and populations; the percentage of the river's length with healthy vegetation on both banks; the number of native waterbird and animal species with sustainable populations; and the percentage of the river suitable for primary contact recreation without threat to public health. The relevance of the approach to management and policy issues is demonstrated.
|Australasian Journal of Environmental Management
|Published - 2008