Since Soviet times Lake Ülemiste has been closed to public access. The current
practice of Tallinn may entail unnecessary losses of benefits to the local population.
The aim of this paper is to find the value of the foregone benefits. In order to find
this value, a contingent valuation (CVM) survey was conducted involving a sample
of the adult population of Tallinn.
According to the survey the average willingness to pay is 6.6 Euro and the
recreational benefits foregone were estimated to 1.8 million Euros annually. In
order to safeguard the quality of the drinking water, additional measures may be
needed. Discounted over a 30 year period allows investments of a maximum of 26
million Euro. Applying the current investment plan of Gothenburg to Tallinn shows
that the recreational value of opening the lake to the public is sufficiently large to
cover Gothenburg’s coal filter investments to be carried out in Tallinn.