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Abstract

Currently, New Mexico law does not provide any legal avenue of protecting instream flows. A change in the status quo requires that a prima facie case be made establishing sufficient evidence of the public benefits from maintaining instream flows to warrant consideration, or standing, in future water policy deliberations. Using the contingent valuation (CV) method, we investigate the nonmarket benefits of protecting minimum instream flows in New Mexico. Results from a dichotomous choice CV telephone survey show significant nonmarket values for protecting instream flows that are sensitive to a change in scope and insensitive to a group-size reminder.

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