Economic valuation of wastewater: the cost of action and the cost of no action

This report presents the results of an analytical study on the economic valuation for wastewater, comparing the cost of no action versus the cost of effective wastewater management. Although economic valuation of wastewater management is complex, it remains an important tool to guide policymakers and investors to take informed decisions. A financial analysis of wastewater management looks at its private costs and benefits and can underpin decision making from a business or treatment plant operator standpoint. Economic analysis looks at the broader costs and benefits for society, providing information for public policy decisions to support improvements in wastewater management. Adequate wastewater collection, treatment, and safe use or disposal can lead to significant environmental and health benefits. However, because some of these benefits do not have a market price, they have not traditionally been considered in the financial analysis of wastewater treatment projects, therefore underestimating total benefits.

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