Subiaco Strategic Resource Precinct Case Study: Non-Market Valuation of Recycled Water

CRC for Water Sensitive Cities


This CRC for Water Sensitive Cities case study report explores what businesses are willing to pay for wastewater in an area where both land and water use are well established. The focus area of the case study is Perth’s Subiaco Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) but the results offer valuable insights for other WWTPs across the country.

The study used contingent valuation and contingent behaviour methods for estimating willingness to pay for recycled water (a non-market resource) among 20 non-residential organisations located in or near the odour buffer zone surrounding the Subiaco WWTP. Subiaco WWTP is one of the largest treatment plants in Western Australia, servicing a catchment of around 240,000 people that includes the Perth CBD.

Findings in the Subiaco context were that:

  • There is low willingness-to-pay for recycled water among existing non-residential land users 
  • This low willingness-to-pay is unlikely to justify the development of additional treatment and distribution infrastructure.

As well as identifying their willingness-to-pay, survey respondents identified features they think are important for a successful water recycling scheme, including:

  • Reliability of supply and communication about interruptions
  • Consistency of water quality
  • Timely and accurate information about existing users’ experience over several years
  • Assistance to upgrade infrastructure
  • A realistic price for recycled water

Refer to final report for more information Subiaco Strategic Resource Precinct Case Study: Non-Market Valuation of Recycled Water.