Monetary value of the impacts of filamentous green algae on commercial agriculture : results from two geographically different case studies

Oberholster, P. J. ; Botha, A-M. ; De Lange, W. J. (2016-07)

CITATION: Oberholster, P. J., Botha, A-M. & De Lange, W. J. 2016. Monetary value of the impacts of filamentous green algae on commercial agriculture : results from two geographically different case studies. Water SA, 42(3):449-455, doi:10.4314/wsa.v42i3.10.

The original publication is available at http://www.wrc.org.za

Article

This paper presents estimates of the monetary value of the impact of eutrophication (algae) on commercial agriculture in two different catchments in South Africa. A production function approach is applied to estimate the monetary value of the impact of filamentous green algae on commercial agriculture in the Dwars River, Western Cape and the Loskop irrigation area, Groblersdal, in South Africa. The main emphasis was on the impacts of algal growth on farm profitability, which relied on detailed information on the impact, and the extent of the impact, of algae on farming practice. The paper presents the study areas, methodological approach, surveyed pollution impacts and the calculated monetary value of the impacts of such pollution. A short conclusion discusses some potential applications of the results. Initial results point towards a value of R1 887 per hectare per year for the Dwars River area and R2 890 per hectare per year for the Loskop irrigation area. The information can not only be used to compare different eutrophication mitigation strategies within the study areas and, to a lesser extent, similar areas outside these areas, but can also inform a process focusing on assessing the market potential for tradable pollution permits as a mitigation practice to manage water pollution in both catchments.

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