Tap water focus of Brock lecture

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Tap water focus of Brock lecture

Nov. 5, 2009

Illustrating ways economists can provide input into issues relating to the provision of tap water will be the focus of an upcoming lecture by Diane Dupont, a Brock Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence recipient.

The public lecture, entitled “Thirsting for Knowledge: An Economist’s Investigation of Pressing Water Issues,” takes place Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Dr. Charles A. Sankey Chamber at Brock University. A wine and cheese reception will follow.

Dupont, a professor in the Department of Economics, will focus on two components of her overall research program, which correspond to the “supply of” and “demand for” tap water.

While much effort has gone into understanding the engineering/scientific features of water utilities, she says, relatively little is known about the economic/organizational characteristics that underlie the efficient provision of good quality, tap water services.

Dupont has examined studies on both supply and demand to address this gap.

On the supply side, she reviewed results from work developed on measuring performance and efficiency of a set of Ontario water utility operations. On the demand side, surveys from Canadian consumers reveal how much money Canadian consumers might be willing to pay to have better-quality water, and the extent to which consumers trust their utilities to provide safe and high-quality tap water.

Created in 2001, the Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence at recognizes high-quality research, scholarly and creative achievement by providing a three-year grant to support an individual’s research program.

In compliance with the terms of the award, each Chancellor’s Chair agrees to present a lecture to the University community.