Economics, Environment, Latest, Natural resource management, Water

281 – Ranking Environmental Projects Revisited

In 2013 I put out a set of 20 blog posts giving practical advice about ranking environmental projects. I’ve upgraded the consolidated report about this to make it even easier to use and more broadly applicable.

My working paper on ranking environmental projects has been quite popular, with about 450 downloads, and I’ve had good feedback from various people who actually used it. I’ve put out a new version of the working paper with lots of small improvements, but with three main ones.

  1. I’ve included two additional ways to estimate the potential benefits of a project. The original paper was based on the approach we use in INFFER, which is designed for projects that address discrete, identifiable environmental assets. There are environmental projects that aren’t like that, and the new report makes it easier to evaluate and rank those.
  2. I’ve provided templates that can be used to ask the specific questions about each project to collect the required information for evaluation and ranking. These are somewhat based on INFFER, but they are Word documents, so that users can easily adapt them to suit their own purposes.
  3. I’ve provided spreadsheets which can be used to collate the information collected in the Word templates. They include the formulas needed to calculate the Benefit: Cost Ratio for each project. There are various versions of the spreadsheets, matching the different approaches outlined in the report. The versions vary in complexity and detail, depending on how much depth the environmental organisation wants to go into for each project.

The new version of the working paper is available at AgEcon Search, and the templates and spreadsheets can be downloaded from the data archive page on my web site.

I’ve also created a version of the report that is specifically targeted to urban water managers and utilities. There are many organisations linked to the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities who I think could find this version useful.

Further Reading

Pannell, D.J. (2015). Ranking environmental projects, Working Paper 1506, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia. Full paper ♦ Water Sensitive Cities version

Pannell, D.J., Roberts, A.M., Park, G., Alexander, J., Curatolo, A. and Marsh, S. (2012). Integrated assessment of public investment in land-use change to protect environmental assets in Australia, Land Use Policy 29(2): 377-387. Journal web site ♦ IDEAS page for this paper