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Valuing economic benefits of water's ecosystem services with non-market valuation methods and regional input-output model


Colorado has the highest trout angler participation rate in the United States, but the economic benefits of the state's anglers were last estimated more than two decades ago. Using survey data sampled in Colorado's stocked public reservoirs in 2009, Chapter one showed that trout anglers' net economic benefits were more than twice as much as non-trout anglers'. Values estimated from Travel Cost Method produced angler day consumer surpluses of US$191.60 and $61.68 for trout and non-trout anglers respectively. Values from Contingent Valuation Method are $196.48 (trout) and $73.84 (non-trout) for the mean consumer surplus, while the median are $164.53 (trout) and $56.78 (non-trout). Thus the relative values of fishing for trout versus other species are robust to non-market valuation methods, and the two valuation methods show convergent validity. Chapter two investigates the change in angler trips as a response to current season stocking level, in order to calculate the net economic benefit per fish stocked for selected hatcheries-stocked reservoirs in Colorado. Besides the unique objective to derive a marginal fish value for stocked trout in Colorado's reservoirs, this study also differs from existing studies in that it does not arbitrarily assume the proportion of stocked fish caught by anglers. As an alternative, this study utilized the relationships among catchable trout stocking level, angler catch rate, annual trips and valuation estimates to derive economic values of stocked fish: $0.38 for trout and $1.88 for non-trout. National forests contribute a substantial portion of water to the public supply in western states. In particular, units in the national forest system in Colorado are estimated to provide 68% of the water supply originating in Colorado in an average year. Chapter three used a customized value-added approach along with a state-wide input-output model to derive the marginal economic contributions to each economic sector in the state of Colorado. The approach used in this chapter differed from the traditionally applied method, in that it avoided over-estimating the value of water from implicitly assigning zero opportunity cost to all non-water inputs. Instead, the gross absorption coefficients for the water supply sector were used for adjusting the economic impacts. A method of calculating the economic contributions attributable Colorado's national forest water to each sector in the state economy was demonstrated. On an average year, summing across all sectors, water originating from Colorado's national forests contributed to a total of 4,738 jobs, $215,473,985 in labor income, and $264,485,290 in value-added for Colorado's economy.


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non-market valuation
trout stocking
travel cost method
input-output model
water supply


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