Water consumption and disposal are often taken for granted as essential services with required levels of service quality, yet little is known about how much consumers are willing to pay for specific service levels. As customers in many countries face changing levels of water availability (especially shortages linked possibly to climate change and limited catchment capacity), the need to assess the value (and hence benefit) to society of varying service levels and prices in an effort to secure the provision of and disposal of water has risen on public agendas. In an attempt to establish how much customers are willing to pay for specific levels of service, we use a series of stated choice experiments and mixed logit models to establish the willingness to pay to avoid interruptions in water service and overflows of wastewater, differentiated by the frequency, timing and duration of these events. The empirical evidence is an important input into the regulatory process for establishing service levels and tariffs, as well as useful planning information for agencies charged with finding cost effective ways of delivering services at prices that customers deem to be value for money.
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