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    Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies
    Available online 2 December 2015

    Study region

    Obama City has a population of 33,000 and is located in the central Wakasa district, in southwest Fukui Prefecture, Japan. Obama’s groundwater resources are supported by the Kitagawa (38 km2) and Miniamigawa (17 km2) river basins. Groundwater is used aboveground year round for commercial and domestic purposes and during winter months to melt snow. Submarine groundwater discharge along the coast supports a nearshore fishery in the region.

    Study focus

    Results from a choice-based analysis suggest that residents are willing to pay on average JPY 565 per month to maintain the drinking water function and aquatic resource function of groundwater in the Fukui region. However, the static approach is not appropriate for estimating the net present value of the resource, i.e., the discounted net benefit aggregated over time. We therefore develop and propose a dynamic framework capable of assessing tradeoffs between the various water uses as scarcity increases or decreases in the future.

    New hydrological insights for the region

    Marginal willingness to pay for water in Obama is currently low because freshwater is abundant. We expect that future optimal water extraction patterns will depend most on trends in energy costs, climate change and demand growth.


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