Economic assessment of non-market environmental benefits of water quality: An application of the Water Framework Directive to the Guadalquivir River Basin

Julia Martín-Ortega, Julio Berbel, Roy Brouwer


This study contributes to the economic assessment of the benefits derived from the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). A practical definition of environmental benefits and a valuation scenario of the non-market benefits of water quality improvement is proposed. This economic assessment is needed to asses whether the WFD is disproportionately costly. The contingent valuation method is applied to the Guadalquivir River Basin (Southern Spain), using a two-stage Heckman estimation model.


Environmental benefits; Disproportionate costs; Water Framework Directive; Heckmanmodel; Contingent valuation

Subject classification

Q25, Q51.

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