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Estimating the Impact on Public Benefits from changes in investment on the Environment Agency Waterways - WC0816

The research will develop new fit for purpose estimates of the extent to which changes in investment in inland EA waterways (whether arising from changes in public funding or in other sources of income) can increase or avert the loss of public benefits.

This evidence will inform a robust but proportionate economic appraisal of the costs and benefits arising from the Government’s commitment to transfer the Environment Agency’s (EA) navigations to the Canal & River Trust (CRT) subject to affordability and the agreement of the CRT’s Trustees.

The research is not directly assessing the proposed transfer, rather it will provide a practical tool to assess in a proportionate way the impacts on public benefits of possible changes in spending and investment on the EA waterways. Such evidence will play a key role in appraising options for the transfer, although the outputs could potentially be relevant to other waterways.
1. Agree the methodology and working arrangements for the assignment, through an inception phase

2. Map different types of waterway assets against an ecosystem services or benefits typology, building on the outputs of the EA Public Benefits Assessment project

3. Develop a comprehensive evidence-based logical framework describing how different kinds of changes in spending on the EA waterway network affect uses and benefits and how these changes might be valued

4. Undertake a fit for purpose valuation exercise through carefully selected public surveys in relevant sites to elicit estimates of how willingness to pay of users would vary with differences in the quality and condition of the waterways and their assets

5. Provide plausible and transparent quantitative estimates of how changes in maintenance / investment in the EA waterways might affect:
a. numbers of direct users;
b. unit welfare values;
c. other benefits where relevant,
highlighting where relevant how these estimates vary across types of waterways, spending, use etc.

6.Develop a transparent, user-friendly, MS Office™ Excel-based tool that Defra can own and use following closure of the project to run different scenarios around cuts or additions to spending or resources
7. Present and agree the findings of the work in a final report to Defra.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Estimating the Impact on Public Benefits from Changes in Investment in EA Waterways   (1740k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £82,477
Contractor / Funded Organisations
GHK Consulting Ltd, Nick D Hanley
Water Use