This study explores community preferences regarding alternative land uses in wastewater treatment plant buffer zones in Western Australia. The study uses the choice experiment method, and is the first study to apply this method to the context of wastewater treatment plant buffer zone management. In the study there are two information conditions and four land use options. In the first information condition different land use options were presented using text and tables only. In the second information condition land use options were presented visually as maps alongside the text and table information. A between-subject design is used to test how the presentation of information influences people’s preferences for different land use options. For both information conditions the most preferred land use option is nature conservation. Presenting visual information was found to reduce the tendency of respondents to select the status quo option, and was also associated with evidence of increased use of information for decision making. Comparing the value of the optimal land use mix to current real world buffer zone land uses identified the possibility of material welfare gains from reallocating land in buffer zones towards nature based land uses.


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Last updated: 6th Jul 2018