Estuaries are open access public goods in the sense that it is difficult to exclude people from accessing and using them, and that the marginal cost of this use is low. Given the overwhelming evidence available on the significance of freshwater inflow to estuary functionality, it is clear that an important component of catchment management is the allocation of river water into estuaries. Economic guidance comes in the form of comparisons of value. The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) values are compared with the Travel Cost Method (TCM). Thus, by carrying out a further validity test – comparing the CVM with the TCM, this study potentially fills an important research gap. The CVM generated values per m3 of freshwater inflow into the estuary ranges from R0.0022 to R0.0546 whereas the (TCM) willingness to pay values per m3 of freshwater inflow ranges from R0.0035 to R0.0499. The difference between the CV and TC generated values is marginal. It ranges from -7.89% at the Kleinmond estuary to 0.57% at Cefane estuary. The findings in this study are that the values generated by the two methods are roughly consistent with each other.
A comparison of the values of water inflows into selected South African estuaries: the Heuningnes, Kleinmond, Klein, Palmiet, Cefane, Kwelera and Haga-Haga
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