Water recreation benefits from reduced eutrophication in Finnish surface waters

Eutrophication has been commonly acknowledged as a typical problem of the Baltic Sea, but it is also emerging in Finnish inland waters. As municipal sources of nutrients have been addressed by enhancing waste water treatment, the pressure has focused to agriculture along with the adoption of the EU- Water Framework Directive, which aims to improve surface water quality to “good ecological status” by 2015. The implementation of the directive will likely affect water recreation behavior and benefits. In this study we modeled water recreation participation and water quality econometrically using a hurdle model for three activities: swimming, fishing and boating. In addition, we estimated the consumer surplus for a water recreation day using a travel cost approach. We found that close-to-home water quality affects swimming and fishing behavior positively, and that for a 1-meter improvement in water clarity, consumer surplus for swimmers would increase at a range between 32 to 97 million Euros, and for fishers by 43 to 130 million Euros. In comparison with previously estimated costs of decreasing agricultural nutrient flow to the Gulf of Finland, we found that net benefits may be positive.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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