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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Sep 15;493:1056-64. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.096. Epub 2014 Jul 11.

Assessing the effects of regional payment for watershed services program on water quality using an intervention analysis model.

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  • 1School of Water Conservancy & Environment, Zhengzhou University, 100 Kexue Avenue, Zhengzhou 450001, China. Electronic address: luyancn@zzu.edu.cn.
  • 2School of Water Conservancy & Environment, Zhengzhou University, 100 Kexue Avenue, Zhengzhou 450001, China.


Much attention has been recently paid to ex-post assessments of socioeconomic and environmental benefits of payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs on poverty reduction, water quality, and forest protection. To evaluate the effects of a regional PES program on water quality, we selected chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) as indicators of water quality. Statistical methods and an intervention analysis model were employed to assess whether the PES program produced substantial changes in water quality at 10 water-quality sampling stations in the Shaying River watershed, China during 2006-2011. Statistical results from paired-sample t-tests and box plots of COD and NH3-N concentrations at the 10 stations showed that the PES program has played a positive role in improving water quality and reducing trans-boundary water pollution in the Shaying River watershed. Using the intervention analysis model, we quantitatively evaluated the effects of the intervention policy, i.e., the watershed PES program, on water quality at the 10 stations. The results suggest that this method could be used to assess the environmental benefits of watershed or water-related PES programs, such as improvements in water quality, seasonal flow regulation, erosion and sedimentation, and aquatic habitat.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Environmental effects; Intervention analysis model; Payment for ecosystem services; Water purification; Watershed protection

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