American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Willingness to Pay for Water Hyacinth Control in Nepal

Umesh Khatri, Resham Bahadur Thapa-Parajuli and Uttam Paudel

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2018.226.233

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 14, Issue 5

Pages 226-233

Abstract

Water Hyacinth (WH) has become a growing problem across Asia, specifically in Nepal. Infestations of this weed have reached critical proportions in freshwater bodies, causing environmental, economic, agricultural and social problems. These problems have corresponding monetary values. This study elicits the willingness of visitors and local people to control WH in the Phewa Lake in Nepal. Considering three scenarios encircling different socio-economic variables, we estimated the people’s willingness to pay for cleaning WH from the lake. Willingness to Pay (WTP), befitting contingent valuation method, was employed using 13 sample points to capture heterogeneity. We estimated Logit regression coefficients to achieve the elasticity of the demand curve. The findings reveal that the mean WTP for the first scenario, to remove the WH for one year, was NPR 920.51. Similarly, the mean WTP for the second scenario, representing the minimum annual impact, was NPR 717.38 only. Finally, mean WTP for the third scenario that keeps the impact at a low level in the lake for ten years was NPR 1848.17. Based on the preference of beneficiaries and the level of WTP for different scenarios, Nepal government should first prioritize on keeping very low impact of the weed in the lake rather than removing WH from the lake at once to yields highest possible benefit from the lake. Number of visit, assistance and expenditure are the pertinent factors to offset the WTP of beneficiaries which were significant at 5% level of significance. Moreover, the estimated demand curve is relatively inelastic meaning that small increase in beneficiary’s utility lead to big marginal increase in WTP of visitors and local people.

Copyright

© 2018 Umesh Khatri, Resham Bahadur Thapa-Parajuli and Uttam Paudel. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.