Non-market values and benefit transfer tool (IRP2-WP2)
This work package has developed a non market value tool consisting of a comprehensive database of existing non market values of water sensitive systems and practices that will be used to underpin various benefit-transfer methods.
It is not always possible or appropriate to conduct original non-market valuation studies, the benefit transfer is the systematic extrapolation of existing non-market valuation results to new contexts. Its main attraction is that it saves on cost, relative to conducting original studies for every case where a decision is needed. Using benefit transfer methods, findings (values, functions) from the original study site are transferred to the site where benefits need to be calculated. If carefully conducted, benefit transfers have the potential to provide a reasonable approximation of the value for situations that lack an original non-market valuation study. There are different methods to conduct benefit transfer: meta-analysis, function transfer and unit value (means) transfer. Each of these methods have their strengths and weaknesses.
Updated comprehensive database of existing non-market values of water sensitive practices:
We took the collation of existing studies and results from WP1.1 and added relevant studies that have been conducted outside the CRCWSC since we last reviewed the literature in Tranche 1. We have custom-built a database for these non market values in a way that allows them to be easily and efficiently accessed. Wide consultation with the project steering committee and non market value experts was undertaken on the design and functionality of this database, ensuring that it would be easy to maintain into the future. The data has been rigorously processed for validity and reliability, and any weaker studies have been excluded.
Development of benefit-transfer guidelines:
There is growing literature on benefit transfer. The UWA team has existing close links and collaborations with some of the world experts in these methods: Prof Rob Johnston from Clark University, USA; Prof Peter Boxall from University of Alberta; and Prof John Rolfe from Central Queensland University (Johnston et al. 2015). We have worked with these experts to develop accessible guidelines for end users on how to conduct benefit transfer for water sensitive practices, including choosing appropriate methods for the particular context.
The non market values tool is currently being previewed by the project steering committee, CRCWSC Participant organisations and some relevant stakeholders, including some preliminary training opportunities to demonstrate how to use the database for benefit transfer. Some original non market valuation studies will be conducted as part of the case studies to test the tools and framework (see WP5 for further details). The database will be continuously updated as new information is generated.
The associated Guidelines have been developed and have entered a review process, internally at first, and then to the broader group of external reviewers. The guidelines will be tested with the relevant stakeholders and adapted accordingly.