Value of erosion control
Economic value of natural erosion control can be seen as avoided costs. In agriculture the costs can be either composed of extra fertilizer use or artificial means of erosion control that are either mandatory or supplementary. In reindeer herding the extra costs become from extra feeding.
Also the consequences of erosion in aquatic ecosystems may cause some economic expenses for society. Professional fishers may loose valuable catch as the populations of salmonoid fish species decline in eutrophicated waters. About 39% of drinking water originates from surface waters. If the aquatic ecosystem becomes eutrophic the purification of water is more expensive or, in worst case, impossible. In such case, new sources of drinking water must be searched and brought into operation which both add the expenses.
Fundamentally, natural erosion control enables many livelihoods such as agriculture, forestry, fishing etc. Also many recreational activities such as amateur fishing and swimming in natural waters benefit from it.
Intrinsic value of natural erosion control can be seen as constancy of fertile soils, aquatic ecosystems, and landscapes at large.
Health value of natural erosion control can be seen especially in water related issues. Eutrophication may have many health impairing consequences such as toxic algal blooms or decline in drinking water quality.
- Updated (15.01.2015)