Estimating the economic value of a river water quality with a double approach: An application to the principles of the Water Frame Directive

Salvador del Saz Salazar, Francesc Hernández Sancho, Ramón Sala Garrido


The main aim of the European Water Frame Directive is to achieve the good ecological status in all European waters by 2015 with a combined approach of different measures. In this study, two stated preference methods –contingent valuation and contingent ranking– have been applied to obtain the economic value of a hypothetical improvement of the water quality of a river. The comparison of both methods shows that contingent ranking yields higher values than contingent valuation, as found in previous literature. Lastly, the estimated values are aggregated in order to obtain the social benefits that steam from this environmental improvement.


Social benefits; Water quality; Water Framework Directive; Contingent ranking; contingent valuation

Subject classification

Q25, Q26.

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