water heritage
Challenges when Valuing Cultural Heritage Associated with Water






This article outlines some of the difficulties associated with valuing cultural heritage. They include the surmountable problems of pricing cultural heritage and the associated market failures inherent in all water systems. Critical to any attempt to value cultural heritage is the need to quantify exactly what cultural heritage encompasses. While the theoretical concept of economic value is a relatively simple one, applying it to cultural heritage can only be accomplished if it is well defined.

How to Cite

Davidson, B., & Hellegers, P. (2022). Challenges when Valuing Cultural Heritage Associated with Water. Blue Papers, 1(1), 43–49. https://doi.org/10.58981/bluepapers.2022.1.04





challenges, concepts and new approaches

Author Biographies

Brian Davidson, University of Melbourne

University researcher at the University of Melbourne since 1998 and before that was at the University of New England. He has also worked at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad Pakistan and at Wageningen UR in The Netherlands. Until recently he was the director of teaching at the School of Agriculture and Food at the University of Melbourne and still plays a role in teaching research communication and water policy there. He has taught 22 different subjects across three different faculties at the university. He is a university researcher with 40 years’ experience and has more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and 65 other publications. He has contributed to four projects with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and held senior positions in three separate Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs). In recent years he has conducted research for UNESCO, the World Bank, and the Netherlands Department of Foreign Affairs. His research interests have included work on commodity policy analysis, rural poverty, regional development and the economics of quality. For the past 20 years he has been interested in the economics of irrigation. Currently he is contributing research on various projects, including the measurement of the social value of irrigation in Australia, irrigation reliability, and on soil carbon sequestration. He is interested in a heterodoxic approach to investigating current problems in the water sector, particularly those associated with placing a value on water.

Petra Hellegers, Wageningen University & Research

Professor and chair of the Water Resources Management Group. She has extensive experience in the economic analysis of water (allocation) issues and in making trade-offs between financial and social values of water explicit, nationally and internationally (in Egypt, India, Jordan, Morocco, Mozambique, Ukraine and Yemen among other countries). She leads a group of approximately 20 staff members and more than 30 PhD candidates working in the field of agricultural water management, water governance and contested knowledges.


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