Economic Valuation of Environmental Benefits in the Murray-Darling Basin

Mark Morrison, Darla Hatton-MacDonald

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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The Commonwealth Water Act 2007 requires that in evaluating the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, an analysis of the social and-economic implications of the proposed Basin Plan be undertaken. For this reason, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) commissioned this study as an input into evaluating the proposed Basin plan.This study made several contributions: (1) it mounted a case for the use of non-market valuation in the cost-benefit analysis of the plan, (2) it synthesised the existing literature valuing improved environmental quality in the Murray-Darling Basin, and (3) it developed a framework in which many relatively different studies could be applied to valuing improved river health in the 16 different catchments of the basin, and (4) developed a set of defensible valuation estimates.The values produced in this study were used by the Centre for International Economics as an input into its cost-benefit analysis of the draft plan for the MDBA; the report was listed on the MDBA website; referred to extensively in technical appendices accompanying the release of the proposed plan, and there is a six page summary of the study in Part B of the MDBA report 'Socioeconomic Analysis of the Draft Basin Plan'. The Australian Conservation Foundation also relied heavily on the report to produce its own estimates of the benefits associated with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan which they reported to a Senate hearing. The findings of the study were also reported in 55 newspapers across the nation, and on various radio programs.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMurray Darling Basin Authority, NSW Australia
Commissioning bodyMurray-Darling Basin Authority
Number of pages45
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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    Morrison, M., & Hatton-MacDonald, D. (2010). Economic Valuation of Environmental Benefits in the Murray-Darling Basin. Murray Darling Basin Authority, NSW Australia.