Willingness-to-Pay for Ecological Improvements


During the WFD Benefits Project the Ecosystem Services Planning team worked with the EA Economics Team to develop a conceptual framework designed to connect reasons for WFD failure, via the pressures they exert, to degradations in the quality of six different ecosystem components.Using this approach the total potential for step‐change environmental improvements was determined for each waterbody and the total potential for step‐change environmental improvements across an entire catchment calculated. This combined total for environmental improvements could then be used to divide and allocate the total WTP value identified for the catchment (CRP NWEBs, 2007) between the waterbodies and to connect the potential benefits to the pressures and reasons for failure acting in them and across the catchment.

It is clear from the outputs of this analysis that the profile of pressures within a catchment and the geographic distribution of their integrated impacts are both key considerations when the potential benefits of a proposed intervention programme are being considered.

In addition, because the framework connects reason for failure‐pressure combinations to ecosystem condition, we may also be able to identify which of these combinations are affecting the provision of certain ecosystem services within a catchment. This may allow for cost‐benefit analyses to be undertaken for proposed intervention programmes, not just for WTP for non‐market value, but also for their ability to enhance the delivery of ecosystem services.