Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Economics and Finance


Rangesan Narayanan


Water flowing in streams has value for various types of recreationists and is essential for fish and wildlife. Since water demands for offstream uses in the arid west have been steadily increasing, increasing instream flows to enhance the recreational experience might be in conflict with established withdrawals for uses such as agriculture, industries and households.

It is the intent of this study to contribute to an economic assessment of the tradeoff between maintaining instream flow for river recreation use and offstream uses; that is, to develop and apply a method to measure costs and benefits of water used for recreation on a river.

Since market prices are not observable for instream flows, the estimation economic value of instream flow would present well known difficulties. The household production function theory was used to build the theoretical model to measure economic value of instream flow.

Policy implication are discussed with emphasis on application of the information to water management decisions.



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