State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2007DE103B
Title: Willingness to pay for Sustainable Agricultural Practices in an Urbanizing Region
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 6/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2008
Congressional District: At large
Focus Categories: Law, Institutions, and Policy, Water Quality, Economics
Keywords: Agricultural policy, nonpoint pollution, urbanization
Principal Investigators: Duke, Joshua; Chatterson, Sarah
Federal Funds: $ 1,750
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 3,500
Abstract: Sustaining agricultural production in urbanizing areas provides many amenity and environmental benefits and also prevents negative impacts associated with sprawl development. Several of these environmental benefits are closely tied to water. Natural and agricultural land uses allow for recharge of aquifers better than developed uses, which have impermeable surfaces. Similarly, such uses are less likely to cause flooding and thereby benefit existing residents. In addition, natural and agricultural uses are probably more likely to protect water quality since the management of developed land often introduces more pollutants and more nutrients into waterways. The research proposed here augments a larger project to study the feasibility of sustainable farming in urbanizing environments. The specific project proposed here is limited to estimating neighbors’ willingness to pay for sustainable farming practices on the St. Andrew’s parcel. The willingness to pay study is conducted using a stated preference survey to a sample of residents nearest the St. Andrew’s School. Stated preference techniques are required for the direct measurement of the willingness to pay for nonmarket goods and will determine the willingness to pay of these residents for the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. Agricultural areas produce both negative and positive externalities and these market failures can be mitigated and enhanced, respectively, through the use of these sustainable management practices. However, compensation may need to be provided to producers in order for the adoption of these environmentally beneficial practices. Therefore, knowing the willingness to pay of the residents is essential in developing policies that help compensate for these benefits as well as determining whether new policies will likely pass a benefit-cost test.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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