Economic Analysis of Source Water Protection

Principal Investigator - Dr. Vic Adamowicz, University of Alberta, 2013-2016


Anticipated Outputs include:

  • Report to Stakeholders
  • Statistical Models of the willingness to pay for improved water reliability.

Additionally, this research has been disseminated through several presentations:

  • Lloyd-Smith, P. C. Schram, W. Adamowicz and D. Dupont. Endogeneity of Risk Perceptions in Water Expenditure Models, presented at

1. World Congress of Resource and Environmental Economics. Istanbul, Turkey, June 2014.

2. Canadian Resource and Environmental Economics Study Group, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. October 2014.

3. Canadian Water Resources Congress, June 2014.

4. Sustainable Development Doctoral Society, Columbia University NY. Interdisciplinary PhD Workshop on Sustainable Development. April 2014.

This research project has held several key workshops:

  • 2-day workshop for project researchers in Edmonton as well as the study region (Southwest Rockies in Alberta).
  • Workshops with government officials, including two workshops (one in Edmonton, one in Calgary) with fire management officials, as well as conference calls regarding the development of the reliability survey and methodological innovations in the survey.


Outcomes include:

  • Strengthened relationships with researchers through continuous interaction with other researchers in the broader interdisciplinary team, including hydrologists, engineers, foresters and other academics involved in sourcewater protection.
  • Strengthened relationships with partners through workshops with government officials on the on-going research and the linkages to their needs.
  • It is anticipated that the information in this project will lead to changes in the way that forested sourcewaters are protected (e.g. the use of prescribed burning or other risk mitigation strategies). It is also possible that this information will be used in water infrastructure planning as the project will provide evidence on the value of reliability which relates directly to treatment and infrastructure sizing decisions.
  • The survey from this project has increased knowledge about how prepared the public is for water outages and the impact of such outages, including regional variation (e.g. urban versus rural) and demographic differences (e.g. age, background).
  • Increased knowledge through the exploration of several methodological innovations in the survey design and implementation. In the economics literature the issue of consequentiality (whether respondents view the survey as potentially having an impact on policy) is of critical importance for obtaining credible valuation estimates. The project’s approach sheds light on the methods used to assess consequentiality and the validity of stated preference economic value estimates.