Nonmarket Valuation: Iowa Lakes Project
The project involves gathering data on recreational trips made by households to about 130 primary lakes in Iowa. The purpose of this effort is to better understand the overall usage patterns of Iowa’s lakes and to estimate the value that households in Iowa would place on improvements in water quality. In the first phase of the project a sample survey of households in Iowa was conducted for four consecutive years from 2002 to 2005. In the second phase, a survey was conducted in 2009-10 to allow comparisons with the first phase. The latest survey elicits data on recreational trips made to lakes in Iowa and also conducts a contingent valuation study on people’s preferences for cleaner lakes with better fish population. Extensive information on usage and water quality at the lakes is available at the Iowa Lakes Valuation Project site.