Valuing drinking water provision as an ecosystem service in the neuse river basin

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


The valuation of ecosystem services such as drinking water provision is of growing national and international interest. The cost of drinking water provision is directly linked to the quality of its raw water input, which is itself affected by upstream land use patterns. This analysis employs the benefit transfer method to quantify the economic benefits of water quality improvements for drinking water production in the Neuse River Basin in North Carolina. Two benefit transfer approaches, value transfer and function transfer, are implemented by combining the results of four previously published studies with data collected from eight Neuse Basin water treatment plants. The mean net present value of the cost reduction estimates for the entire Neuse Basin ranged from $2.7 million to $16.6 million for a 30% improvement in water quality over a 30-year period. The value-transfer approach tended to produce larger expected benefits than the function-transfer approach, but both approaches produced similar results despite the differences in their methodologies, time frames, study sites, and assumptions. © 2010 ASCE.






Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Elsin, YK, RA Kramer and WA Jenkins (2010). Valuing drinking water provision as an ecosystem service in the neuse river basin. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 136(4). pp. 474–482. 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000058 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Randall Kramer

Juli Plant Grainger Professor Emeritus of Global Environmental Health

Before coming to Duke in 1988, he was on the faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has held visiting positions at IUCN--The World Conservation Union, the Economic Growth Center at Yale University, and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, World Health Organization and other international organizations. He was named Duke University's Scholar Teacher of the Year in 2004.

Kramer's research is focused on the economics of ecosystem services and on global environmental health. He is currently conducting a study on the effects of human land use decisions on biodiversity, infectious disease transmission and human health in rural Madagascar. Recent research projects have used decision analysis and implementation science to evaluate the health, social and environmental impacts of alternative malaria control strategies in East Africa. He has also conducted research on health systems strengthening, economic valuation of lives saved from air pollution reduction. and the role of ecosystems services in protecting human health.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.