New working paper: Sea-level Rise, Groundwater Quality, and the Impacts on Coastal Homeowners

  • April 2, 2024
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Sea-level Rise, Groundwater Quality, and the Impacts on Coastal Homeowners

Dennis Guignet, O. Ashton Morgan, Craig Landry, John C. Whitehead, William Anderson

Abstract: 
 
Sea-level rise poses a growing threat to coastal communities and economies across the globe. North Carolina (NC) is no exception, with coastal communities facing annual sea-level rise rates of 2.01 to 4.55 mm/year (NOAA, 2018). Sea-level rise can affect key ecosystem services to coastal communities, including the provision of clean drinking water and adequate wastewater treatment. We examine how increases in the cost of these services and possible negative effects on coastal house prices due to sea-level rise impact residential location decisions. Administering a stated preference survey to NC homeowners in counties adjacent to the coast, we assess how households might respond to the increasing costs of drinking water and wastewater treatment due to sea-level rise. We present a novel framework to estimate expected welfare impacts under illustrative scenarios. Our results can inform local communities and benefit-cost analyses of future adaptation strategies and infrastructure investments.
 
Key Words: drinking water; ecosystem service; groundwater; housing; stated preference; sealevel rise; wastewater