Chapter 6 contains brief synopses of seven case studies in which ground water valuation has been or could be used to enhance problem analysis and the decision-making process. The case studies illustrate different themes associated with the integration of hydrogeological, ground water usage and economic valuation information in real-world decision contexts. The Treasure Valley, Oregon, case illustrates the role of ground water in ecological services and how valuation can be incorporated in the allocation of scarce water supplies. The Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, study focuses on institutional fragmentation and the need for a watershed approach in ground water valuation and management. A study of Albuquerque, New Mexico examines the importance of hydrological information and the interaction of ground and surface waters in developing a long-term sustainable ground water policy. The Arvin-Edson, California, study illustrates the buffer value of ground water relative to extractive services in an area subject to surface water drought conditions. The Orange County, California, case study emphasizes the value of artificial recharge as a means of averting the loss of a ground water supply due to sea water intrusion. A Woburn, Massachusetts, example describes the use of benefit-cost analysis to integrate valuation information in a Superfund remediation dilemma. Finally a water supply study for Tucson, Arizona illustrates planning considerations associated with the valuation framework in Chapter 3, the methods illustrated in Chapter 4, and the importance of substitute water supplies.
These case studies offer several lessons, with most of them supportive of earlier conclusions. Among other things, they show that TEV provides a useful context for the qualitative recognition and/or quantitative valuation of ground water services. At the same time, each study is unique, thus limiting opportunities for subsequent benefits transfer analysis; and highlighting the technical, economic, institutional, and political uncertainties characterize the current state-of-the-art of ground water valuation.