OPTIMA: Optimisation   for Sustainable
Water Resources Management

Project Related Publications

Alexander river restoration - A cost benefit analysis to find the social value of a clean river

    Nir Becker
    Chair, Economics and management department
    Tel-Hai college, NRERC
    University of Haifa, Israel
    Eran Friedler
    Faculty of Civil engineering
    The Technion, Haifa, Israel


The Alexander River runs for about 44 km from the western side of the Mountain Belt across cultivated areas and past towns of the Coastal Plain to the Mediterranean Sea. Industrial and domestic effluents have been discharged to the Alexander River and introduced considerable pollutants over the past 40 years. These have degraded the water quality and the ecosystem. However, improvements are underway with a comprehensive rehabilitation program that was begun in 1995. These efforts include preservation of breeding sites along the river for the rare Nile soft-shell turtle. A master plan to restore the river was put with the main focus being to treat the problems in the river's drainage basin. The plan vastly improved the quality of the river's water and preserved wide areas around the banks for recreation and sailing.

We suggest providing an integrated cost benefit analysis of an integrated river management plan. Our innovative approach would be conducting ex-post analysis were a project is already under way. This analysis would enable to test if the investments in rehabilitation were successful from both and overall view as well as individual stakeholders. We will use these ex-post results to analyze future investments and test if a project like that could be self sustained. In order to perform a CBA study we will evaluate the non-market benefit of cleaning the water and compare them to the cost associated with different water quality levels. Then, find the optimal water use both in terms of flow and quality. This would require estimation of water for nature as well as cost of water pollution and value of water for agriculture.


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