The loss of one acre of wetland could cost over $ 8,000 in ponds

Wet land

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A first of its kind co -authored by experts at Resources for the Future (RFF) and Columbia University in the journal. United States It is estimated that losing an acre of wetland (as many as two and a half football fields) costs the company an average of $ 1,900 in water wells each year. In developed areas, that number jumps to more than $ 8,000.

The benefits of keeping wetlands are not well documented despite the costs, such as those gained by keeping clean water laws. The paper provides more information about the rights of wetlands when the Court of Appeals took a case that could limit the federal government’s control over wetlands under the law. clean water. The Environment Protection Agency under Biden is also working to redefine and improve federal water regulations.

“Wetlands provide significant benefits to communities by generating abundant water that can trigger massive flooding,” said RFF Fellow and author Hannah Druckenmiller. “The problem is, these benefits are incalculable. So when politicians decide on the policies to establish, a fiscal-benefit analysis is likely to be shifted to prefer scales. “

Druckenmiller and his author, Charles A. Taylor of Columbia University, evaluate the relationship of wetland loss to rising reservoirs by looking at costs from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Most Americans with water insurance use the NFIP, so claims made under this scheme are likely to include a significant portion of household water costs. The authors noted a significant increase in land loss due to flood insurance claims made under the NFIP; on average, one acre of dam between 2001 and 2016 increased water requirements by $ 1,900 annually. On built -up areas, the average cost is more than $ 8,000 per acre.

Not all disasters are covered by the NFIP, so the paper underestimates the value of wetlands in reducing marine hazards. Experts don’t think about the benefits of having fun, making a living, filtering water, or fishing.

The authors note some other important facts:

  • The United States lost about 330,000 acres of wetlands between 2001 and 2016. The authors estimate that this damage to the country will cost more than $ 600 million annually due to disasters. high above the flow.
  • Wetlands are important to the people. The low water value of wetlands to landowners (those in the same zip code as wetlands) is less than 30 percent of their full benefits to all water users. .
  • The annual benefits from reduced flow outweigh the cost of maintaining wetlands (due to land resources) over 6 to 22 years, on average. However, these costs and benefits vary widely. To help land use planners and local policy makers understand the value of conservation in their area, the authors provide maps that determine the benefits and costs.
  • Increasing wetland has not been shown to reduce the risks of flooding, questioning the importance of reclaiming wetland to eliminate the negative effects of landslides.

Importantly, the paper contradicts the paper’s explanation of the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule which removes barriers for wetlands not connected to rivers or streams. However, Druckenmiller and Taylor found that wetlands were important for lowering the river, which were slightly removed from a nearby stream or river. The authors note that their knowledge is based on the 2015 definition of the law, which was finalized in 2019.

“The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have reported a lack of reliable estimates of the value of wetlands to justify the abandonment of many systems under the 2020 Navigable Waters Act,” he said. and Taylor. “Our experience presents a new perspective – and hopefully it can become a valuable asset as the rules grow.”

New economic resources are seen to provide billions in filtering value

More information:
Charles A. Taylor et al, Wetlands, Flooding, and the Clean Water Act, United States (2022). DOI: 10.1257 / aer.20210497

Provided by resources for the future

Directions: The loss of one acre of wetland could cost over $ 8,000 to water disasters (2022, April 1) retrieved April 1, 2022 from /news/2022-04-hectare-wetlands-upward.html

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