The economics of flow enhancement vs. nutrient controls in meeting water quality standards: a case study of Spring Creek
Keeler, Andrew G.
MetadataShow full item record
Many of the rivers and streams in Georgia are still not supporting their designated uses. The TMDL program is a key policy tool to address this problem. While the TMDLs written for impaired segments in Georgia address load reduction from point and nonpoint sources, the role of instream flow is not addressed as a management option. The purpose of this paper is to explore the economics of using enhanced flow as part of strategies to meet water quality standards. We begin by briefly sketching the relevant economics theory, which we then apply to a case study of a dissolved oxygen impaired stream segment in the Flint River Basin. Preliminary results from our study show that reaching the targeted water quality by increasing flows may be cost-effective in comparison to TMDL-mandated pollutant removal alternatives. We conclude with some observations about the general applicability of the results.