Conducting a Marine Water Quality Study for a Swedish Government Agency

kingfisher in water


A Swedish Government Agency wanted to understand and quantify the public value of “good environmental status” (GES) in Sweden’s marine waters in accordance with the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Anthesis conducted a comprehensive study to measure public willingness to pay to achieve GES in marine waters. 


Anthesis designed a comprehensive survey with special attention to language around “good status.” The intention was for any respondent, without previous knowledge, to gain an understanding of the current environmental situation and the importance of improving the marine water quality.

A recruitment strategy for questionnaire was sent out in August 2019. The recruitment took place gradually to ensure that the final sample was nationally representative of age, gender, education and region. There were 1039 respondents.

A regression analysis was performed to investigate which factors explain a willingness to pay, such as income, proximity to the sea, and knowledge of the environmental problems in the sea.


The study concluded that the Swedish population’s aggregate willingness to pay for the additional measures required to achieve good environmental status in the Swedish marine waters by 2040 is SEK 8.2 billion, 0,72 billion pound and 0,80 billion euro per year respectively.

The results of the study will inform socio-economic analyses required by the EU to update the action program for the marine environment and to update the Baltic Sea Action Plan in collaboration with Finland, Germany and other surrounding countries. These include cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis of the proposed measures.