Enhancing Urban Stream Values: The Case of the Cooks and Georges River Catchments

Mark Morrison, Kevin J. Boyle, Buyani Thomy, Michael Burton, Weibin Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Waterway restoration in urban areas can be an important environmental policy topic. However, there have been few studies of monetary benefits to help justify expenditures and inform priority setting for remediation works. We investigated values for improving river health in two catchments in Sydney, Australia: the Cooks Catchment, which is smaller and urban-based, and the Georges Catchment, which is larger and located in both urban and periurban areas. Using choice experiments, we found that households are willing to pay Australian Dollars (AUD) 10.34 per year for 5 years in the Cooks Catchment, and AUD 2.64 in the Georges Catchment, to restore 1 km of urban waterway. We found that willingness to pay is moderated by the time until project outcomes are achieved. Comparison with typical costs of urban stream remediation suggested that there is a broad range of projects that will produce positive net benefits in the Cooks Catchment, whereas in the Georges Catchment the economically viable projects are those with lower cost and that can achieve their outcomes relatively quickly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04022056
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


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