Investigation of farmers' willingness to pay for using recycled water for irrigation in Thessaly region, Greece
The objective of the present study was to investigate farmers' willingness to pay for using recycled water for irrigation purposes in Thessaly region, Greece. The method followed for the above analysis was the contingent valuation method which aims at eliciting individuals' preferences, in monetary terms, for changes in the quantity or quality of nonmarket environmental resources through personal interviewing. Our study was based on data collected from 107 questionnaires, which were answered by farmers in Thessaly region. The region is located in central eastern part of Greece and its main feature is that a relatively high percentage of its population is partly or fully employed in agriculture. Furthermore, Thessaly region suffers from a distinct water shortage in summer period, which is partly attributed to the increased agricultural activity. The group chosen for our study was random and the questionnaires were answered through personal interviews. The questionnaire was divided in 3 sessions. The first one dealt with personal data in order to investigate correlations between socioeconomic characteristics of interviewee and his or her willingness to use recycled water and to pay for it. The second session had as a goal to discover whether farmers are willing to use recycled water for irrigation purposes. Finally, the third session dealt with farmers' willingness to pay for treated wastewater. The data were statistically analyzed with the use of the multinomial logistic regression method. The main results show that Thessaly farmers are willing to pay for recycled water especially during drought spells in the region. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.