Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101699

A cost-benefit analysis of precision riparian buffers (PRBs) in Hawaii

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Item Summary

Title: A cost-benefit analysis of precision riparian buffers (PRBs) in Hawaii
Authors: Campana, David James
Keywords: cost-benefit analysis
Issue Date: May 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
Abstract: Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the United States. To combat this occurrence, environmental managers are increasingly turning to the implementation of riparian buffers--designated areas of permanent vegetative land cover--to filter pollutants before they reach major waterways. This research examines the economic value of precision riparian buffers in the Kaiaka-Waialua watershed using a cost-benefit analysis. The Riparian Buffer Delineation Equation (RBDE), a detention time model, was used to determine the precision riparian buffer (PRB) for the study area. RBDE uses the digital elevation data, soil physical properties and the buffer plant material characteristics as input to recommend the appropriate riparian buffer width at each point within the study area. Costs (foregone agricultural revenue, buffer establishment and maintenance) and benefits (improved water quality, reduced erosion-related costs, and reduced production inputs) were calculated over a 10 year timeframe using a discount rate (DR) of 4.375% (in 2010 USD). The overall value of the buffer was the sum of these cost and benefit streams. The buffer's pecuniary value was found to be significantly valuable: worth $3,778,437.74 with a B/C ratio of about 2.235. Sensitivity analysis identified buffer value to be more sensitive to changes in project timeframe than to proportionate changes in DR. The largest cost was found to be foregone agricultural revenue to the farmer, while the largest benefit was reduced erosion-related costs. It is recommended that the relative importance of these costs and benefits be considered in crafting public policy relating to riparian buffers.
Description: M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101699
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Natural Resources and Environmental Managament



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