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Outdoor recreation--Minnesota--Economic aspects; Aquatic sports--Minnesota--Economics aspects


In recent years, increased demands for water for competing uses created a need for establishing a systematic water resource management policy. Knowledge of the value of benefits of water in its various uses is necessary for allocation decisions because this resource is in the public domain. This paper discusses several non-market methods of imputing the economic value of water, particularly recreational water use. Using Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) data, two alternative techniques for measuring value ~re evaluated and compared. These methods are used to provide empirical estimates of the recreational value that people place on Minnesota's water resources. Minnesota has 1986 annual water-based recreational expenditures in excess of $862 million. In addition, over $377 million represents nonmarket benefits which might otherwise be ignored. Failure to consider the non-market benefits substantially undervalues the recreational use of water when comparing water's value to industrial or agricultural uses. Finally, the 1mphcations of these estimates for water management policy are discussed.

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