If the Price is Right- Development of a Methodology for Valuing Hydrologic Data: In 23rd Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium
Increasing restrictions on public funding for hydrologic data collection, and a trend over recent years for data collection activities to be driven by current specific use projects, have highlighted more than ever before the need to systematically assess the value of the benefits derived from the collection of hydrologic data. A most important aspect of this need is to make sensible, realistic estimates of the economic value of sll,ch benefits in dollar terms for current as well as for future uses of hydrologic data. Previous attempts to achieve this have been of limited practical application, due mainly to problems associated with assessingjlfture data uses, dealing with a multitude of data uses and defining exactly how the benefits of data collection can be measured. This paper outlines the development of a general methodology for the economic evaluation of hydrologic data collection networks, the emphasis being on valuing benefits derived from future data collection as wen as on estimating the costs of data collection. This methodology can be used as a tool to aid in determining the level of resources which should be allocated to hydrologic data collection, providing a rational economic justification for the future operation ofdata collection networks.