First Advisor

Alida Cantor

Term of Graduation

Summer 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Environmental Economics, Nonprofit Survey, Water Conservation, Water Management, Water Markets, Water Rights

Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 68 pages)


Valuing water resources presents a multitude of methodological and theoretical challenges, including economics, biodiversity, and cultural significance. Information is not readily available on the individuals working every day on water resource management and how they navigate such a complex topic. This project is designed to help all parties better understand the opinions of individuals working for nonprofit organizations and Watershed Councils in the State of Oregon about current methods of water resource conservation. The results reflect respondents’ personal views on the process and practices of valuing water and are designed to prompt deeper discussions between the organizations, communities, and policymakers.

A survey on water valuation and conservation strategies was distributed to 134 individuals working in organizations throughout Oregon that focus on water resource conservation. 55 respondents provided information on their project locations and/or focal areas, which offers an overview of the regions represented in the survey results and geographic impacts on their work. Some notable findings include strong interest in valuing water beyond monetary terms, a consensus that non-human and cultural needs require more attention, and limited use of market-based conservation strategies in practice. There is an emphasis on restoration, agriculture, and fish with significant concerns for climate-driven changes to water supply. The similarities in responses demonstrate opportunities for increased collaboration and support for redefining the value of water while navigating the tension of working within a neoliberal economy.


© 2023 Jillian Marie Farley

In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier