The Ganga is a major river in India, flowing East through northern India into Bangladesh. Its basin covers 861,404 km, which is approximately 26 percent of the total land area of India.
There are numerous settlements (cities, town and villages) located in the basin, comprising 45 percent of the country’s population, i.e., approximately half a billion people.
This figure is expected to double by 2030. Defined as the river of India by Nehru, Ganga has important economic, social, cultural and religious values. It accounts for about 31.6 percent of India’s annual utilizable water resources, providing water for agriculture, aquaculture, hydro-water resources, providing water for agriculture, aquaculture, hydropower generation, industry, and water supply for household consumption.
The Ganga is a major input to agricultural production, as the soil in the river basin is very fertile, and the river provides a perennial source of irrigation to a large area, enabling cultivation of several crops.
Even though there are some industries which pollute the Ganga, most notably the leather industry, the main source of pollution is human waste. Untreated raw sewage discharged in the Gang is estimated to be as much as one million M3 per day.
The aim of this study is to investigate;
whether and how much the Indian public values any efforts to reduce pollution levels in the Ganga via reduction of the amount of untreated raw sewage deposited therein through the improvement of the capacity and technology of the sewage treatment plants (STPs)
whether the public’s aggregated willingness to pay (WTP) to this end is sufficient to offset the costs of improvements in the capacity and technology of the STP
The public’s valuation is measured in terms of their WTP higher municipal taxes for improvements in wastewater treatment facilities, i.e., the local STP. To this end a stated preference environmental valuation technique namely a choice experiment is employed to estimate the value of improved wastewater treatment to residents of the case study municipality.
Results of the study show the following;
local households prefer those wastewater treatment programs which do not propose additional investments in the regeneration of the Wonderland Park to improve its use as a recreational Park
the effect on utility of choosing a choice set with a higher payment level is negative