Lebanon: Health Valuation of Water Pollution at the Upper Litani River Basin

M. El-Fadel, R. Maroun, R. B.F. Aldeen, D. L. El-Khoury, M. A. Najm

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Poor water quality coupled with inadequate water, sanitation services and hygiene practices has long been associated with higher what? incidence, prevalance? waterborne diseases, resulting in a serious cost to society in the form of cost of illness and forgone earnings directly related to increased morbidity and premature mortality, as well as cost of protective measures. This article presents a socioeconomic assessment of water pollution in the upper Litani River basin. For this purpose, a field survey was conducted to estimate the number of diarrhea and typhoid cases recorded at medical facilities within the study area for one complete year as well as the associated treatment costs. This was followed by the application of the human capital and the willingness-to-pay approaches for mortality valuation, and the cost of illness, pain, and suffering approach for morbidity valuation. A cost-benefit analysis was then conducted to support rational and informed decision-making in adopting appropriate investment policies toward improving water quality in the basin. The estimated annual damage costs ranged between 0.20% and 3.08% of the GDP in the study area. The economic benefits of improving water quality and sanitation revealed a yield of approximately 10% of the GDP in the study area for the year 2004, as cumulative economic returns within 25 years.

    Original languageBritish English
    Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Environmental Health
    Number of pages12
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


    • Cost of illness
    • Cost-benefit analysis
    • Disability-adjusted life years
    • Health valuation
    • Human capital
    • River basin
    • Socioeconomic assessment
    • Water and sanitation
    • Waterborne diseases
    • Willingness to pay


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