Abstract

The long-term success of payment for environmental services (PES) schemes depends on adequate demand for services and sustainable financing. We examine the viability of using locally financed payments to protect watershed services in rural eastern Costa Rica. Using dichotomous choice contingent valuation, we measure households' willingness to pay higher water bills for a local PES programme to adjust upstream land use practices to protect downstream water quality. We found that every income segment of the local population of water-users exhibited significant demand and willingness to finance the PES programme to protect local water quality.

Notes

1.

In Costa Rica, quality potable water is defined as water that can be consumed without diminishing users' health. National quality standards (i.e. Reglamento para la Calidad del Agua Potable) require potable water to fulfil certain physic-chemical and microbiological levels. Costa Rica's water quality regulation is updated according to new developments in the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, which is a joint publication of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

2.

CARRS are also called Asociaciones Administradoras de Acueductos Rurales (ASADA). The only difference between these locally administered organizations is that ASADAs have gained legal authorization as a service provider from AyA, the Costa Rican National Aqueducts and Sewage Agency.

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