Coastal bathing water health risks: Assessing the adequacy of proposals to amend the 1976 EC Directive

Georgiou, Stavros, Bateman, Ian J., Langford, Ian H. and Day, Rosemary J. (2000) Coastal bathing water health risks: Assessing the adequacy of proposals to amend the 1976 EC Directive. Risk, Decision and Policy, 5 (1). pp. 49-68. ISSN 1466-4534

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Everyone likes clean seawater to bathe in and standards for acceptable seawater quality are set by the European Commission (CEC, 1976). In 1994, proposals to revise these standards were announced. These proposals were the subject of a House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry (HMSO, 1994, 1995), which deplored the fact that a soundly based cost–benefit analysis of the proposed revision had not been produced. This paper considers the question of developing means to assess the adequacy of the proposed revision from a social/public perception standpoint, using a mixed methodology of quantitative survey and qualitative focus groups. The aim of using such an approach is to provide a more in-depth and informative input into the decision-making process for policy makers. Our results show that mean willingness-to-pay amounts, representing the economic benefits of the revision to the 1976 EC bathing water standard, are roughly of the same order of magnitude as the estimated potential cost increases in average annual household water bills necessary to implement the revision. This result is qualified by analysis of how preferences are constructed in terms of socioeconomic variables, perceptions and attitudes towards risk, and issues such as trust, blame and accountability of institutions and regulatory processes involved in setting standards for bathing water quality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Resources, Sustainability and Governance (former - to 2018)
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2011 11:07
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 10:30
DOI: 10.1017/S1357530999100085

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