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Table 1 Examples of the economic values of watershed services

From: Priority areas for watershed service conservation in the Guapi-Macacu region of Rio de Janeiro, Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Action Examples Source
Payments to maintain water purification services in the Catskills watershed, New York avoid the costs of launching a filtration plant for water treatment Payments for maintaining watershed purification represent 1 to 1.5 billion USD in comparison to the much higher estimated cost of a filtration plant (6–8 billion USD plus 300–500 million USD yearly for operating costs) Hanson et al. [2011]; WRI [2011]; Pagiola et al. [2004]
The cost of removing nitrate contamination from water in Rochester, Minnesota 2.8-4.8 million USD per year Hawkins [2003]
WTP for water quality improvement in the levels of iron, sulphate, hardness, and copper in South-western, Minnesota 2.4, 2.0, 6.6 and 2.6 million USD yearly respectively (via contingent valuation method) Hawkins [2003]
Yearly revenues in public utility resulting from natural water supply in Mud Lake, Minnesota/ South Dakota 94 USD per acre Hawkins [2003]
Annual WTP from residents living close to the Minnesota River for reducing phosphorous levels 14.1 USD via taxes or 19.6 USD via water bills for a 40% reduction in a nearby river (contingent valuation method) Hawkins [2003]
Increased reservoir water quality and surface area in St. Louis, Missouri Yearly net benefit of 25 million USD (travel cost method) Hawkins [2003]
Value of water supply in Milesburg, Pennsylvania Between 14 and 36 USD per household (avoided cost) Hawkins [2003]
In Venezuela, a national protected area system avoids sedimentation Without the provision of this service by the national protected area, unavoided sedimentation could reduce farmer's income by approximately 3.5 million USD yearly Pabon-Zamora et al. [2008]
The current provision of ecosystem services related to existing stream vegetation along the Llobregat River, Spain 79,000 EUR per year savings in water treatment costs for the residents of Barcelona Honey-Roses et al. [2013]
In New Zealand, the value of water provision from the Otago region coming from the Te Papanui Conservation Park Now it is "free" but would cost 136 million NZDa to bring it in from somewhere else (total benefit of the service) TEEB [2009]
  1. a1 USD is equivalent to 1.30 NZD at current exchange rate (