UBC Theses and Dissertations
Agricultural nutrient management employing the concept of ecological goods and services : a valuation of ground water quality in Abbotsford, British Columbia Ageson, Karen
There is an appetite for market based management mechanisms in agri-environmental policy. The purpose of this study is to explore how the market based concept of ecological goods and services (EGS) can be applied towards the management of an agricultural externality in British Columbia, Canada. Through literature review I establish the importance of valuation in market based management. With an EGS program in mind I identify the City of Abbotsford as a potential ecological service buyer and establish economic value for improvements to water quality in the Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer. I use a replacement cost approach based on the present value costs of the proposed Stave Lake surface water system. My results suggest that if nitrate remediation and/ or nitrate management practices improve water quality and the costs fall below $168 million there are potential net benefits to the City of Abbotsford. This value could form the basis for a city program or EGS trading scheme to encourage farmers to place a higher priority on water quality in their land management practices. A key finding is that lack of information on the degree to which nitrate contamination constrains well field development limits the ability to conclusively evaluate the net benefits of improved nitrate management and proceed with an EGS program.
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