Working Paper 129


Rokua in Northern Finland is a groundwater dependent ecosystem very sensitive to climate change and natural variability. As such, the water level of most of the lakes is a function of the level of the groundwater table of the esker which is naturally recharged. The management of an ecosystem like this is very challenging and complex because of the many associated use and non-use values.

The scope of this study is to expose, apart from the use values, the non-market values attached to the ecosystems services of groundwater systems and reveal their importance. In particular, this chapter illustrates the contribution of stated preference methods to orient policy making and presents results from an application of a choice experiment and contingent valuation method regarding ground water quantity.

General public’s elicited values highlight the importance of water management policy which contributes to the sustainability of groundwater dependent ecosystems. Importantly results highlight the need to broaden the policy options beyond the consideration of market and use values of groundwater systems. Instead these systems should be considered as part of the broader ecosystems and broader services considered in decision making.

Phoebe Koundouri, Mavra Stithou, Eva Kougea, Pertti Ala-aho, Riku Eskelinen, Timo Karjalainen, Bjorn Klove, Manuel Pulido-Velazquez, Kalle Reinikainen and Pekka M.Rossi

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