Estimating landowner’s willingness to accept payments for nature-based solutions in Eastern North Carolina for flood hazard mitigation using the contingent valuation method


FloodWise is a pilot program that proposes nature-based solutions (NBS) for flood hazard mitigation (risk reduction) in eastern North Carolina to control stormwater runoff for brief periods of time. The program would provide financial incentives and technical assistance to rural landowners to adopt NBS on their properties. In this study, we assessed landowners’ willingness to accept (WTA) payments for adopting NBS on their properties using a payment card contingent valuation method (CVM) via a mail survey. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) incentivize landowners to participate in conservation efforts, as well as provide additional opportunities for revenue. Factors such as income, age, contract term length, revenue lost from previous storm events, and size of farm operation influenced one’s willingness to accept payments. The payment levels required for traditional farm conservation practices and NBS flood control practices were not significantly different, indicating that past program methods could help guide new FloodWise or similar NBS efforts. These results can help guide new NBS program development and funding deliberations in North Carolina, and perhaps other rural locations in the US Southeast.

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