Ecosystem services in infrastructure planning – a case study of the projected deepening of the Lower Weser river in Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We consider how ecosystem services can be incorporated into water infrastructure
planning by studying the projected deepening of the Lower Weser river channel in
Germany. We recalculate the project’s benefitcost ratio by integrating the monetary
value of changes in different ecosystem services, as follows: (1) the restoration costs
of a mitigation measure for a loss in fresh water supply for agricultural production in
the estuary region, (2) the costs of a loss in habitat services, transferring the
willingness to pay from a contingent valuation study to the area assessed in the
environmental impact assessment, and (3) the benefits of emissions savings induced
by more efficient shipping, taking a marginal abatement cost approach. We find that
including monetary values for ecosystem service changes leads to a substantial drop in
the benefitcost ratio. On this basis, we argue for a reform of the standard
costbenefit analysis to facilitate more complete welfare assessments.

Details

Authors
External organisations
  • Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
  • Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-248
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume60
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 16
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes