GLOSSARY by gegeshandong


      Avoided Cost is the cost of an activity or facility that could be avoided by choosing an
      alternative course of action. For example, avoided water supply costs are the costs of
      water supply that are avoided by conservation, which reduces the need for new supply

      Consumer Surplus is the difference between what a commodity i s worth to a
      consumer and what he or she actually pays for it.
      Costs are the resources needed for a course of action-in this case for BMP
      implementation. Costs are valued by identifying the opportunities forgone by
      diverting the requisite resources to the BMP. In other terms, "What do we give up to
      get the BMP?"

      Cost-Effective is defined in the MOU as when the present value of benefits exceeds the
      present value of costs. Cost-effectiveness analysis, then, in the context of the MOU, is
      analysis that calculates and compares the present value of costs to the present value of
      benefits. [Note: A textbook definition would distinguish between the terms cost-
      effectiveness analysis and cost-benefit analysis (CBA). CBA measures all costs and benefits in
      dollar terms, whereas CEA measures at least one benefit in its physical units (e.g., acre-
      feet of water saved).]
      Discount Rate is the rate used to calculate the present value of future benefits and
      Discount rates can be either nominal (not adjusted for inflation) or real (adjusted for

      Escalation Rate is the average rate of increase in the inflation-adjusted future cost of
      water supply.
      External Costs and Benefits. Au external cost is when one party, as a result of its actions,
      adversely affects another party either by reducing its productivity or well being, or by
      raising its costs. Au external benefit is where one party beneficially affects another party
      either by increasing its productivity or its well being, or lowering its costs.
      Externalities (external costs and benefits) are distinguished from "pecuniary" effects
      when the adverse or beneficial effects of the others actions are not market
      interactions. Rather, one party's action has a direct physical effect on the welfare or
      costs of others.
      Fixed Costs are those that do not change as output level changes over the time
      horizon being analyzed. These costs typically include capital goods, land, and long-term
      contract commitments. In the short run, fixed costs do not enter into the calculation
      of marginal costs. In the long run, all costs are variable.
      Incremental Costs and Benefits are the costs and benefits that occur due to a
      course of action (e.g., BMP implementation) that would not occur otherwise. In
      other terms, incremental c o s t s and benefits are the additional “increment” of
costs and benefits from implementing a BMP.
Inflation is the rate of change in a price index (e.g., the Consumer Price Index) over a
certain period of time that reflects a general increase in all prices so that relative
prices of different goods and services remain the same. Annual inflation, for example,
reflects the change in the purchasing power of a dollar over the course of a year.
Life-Cycle Analysis examines the costs and benefits of an action (e.g., a BMP) over its
entire expected life span.
Marginal Cost is the additional cost incurred by producing one more unit of output
( e.g., the additional costs of supplying one more acre-foot of water).

Market Price is determined in a market, which is where individuals, firms or other
organizations come together to exchange goods and services. Markets can take many
forms, including dealerships, financial asset and stock exchanges, stores, bulletin
board listings, and brokerages.
Net Present Value is the present value of benefits minus the present value of
costs. Present value refers to the value of a cost or benefit today that will be
incurred or accrued sometime in the future. The present value of a cost or benefit
is determined b y discounting the future cost or benefit utilizing a discount rate.
Opportunity Costs are the true costs faced by a decision-maker, measured as the
highest valued (best) alternative that is foregone when an action is taken.

Project or Device Life Span. The life span of a device is its remaining physical or
productive lifetime. It begins when the device is acquired and ends when the device
is retired from service. Project life is the remaining physical or productive lifetime
of devices (or assets more generally) required for a project. Device or project life
span is often not the same as the useful life for tax purposes.

Period of Analysis is the period over which the cost-effectiveness of the BMP is
analyzed. The period of analysis does not have to be the same as the project life
span, although this is often a convenient assumption.
Real Dollar Value is the dollar value of an item that has been adjusted for inflation.
Sunk Costs have already been incurred and are not reversible. For example,
most engineering and design costs are sunk once they have been paid for. Unlike
land or equipment, the design cannot usually be sold at a later time (if the design
can be sold, then it is not sunk).
Sensitivity Analysis is the process where the assumptions of analysis are tested to
determine how much influence they have on the results. In other terms, "How
sensitive are the results to alternative assumptions?"
Transfer Payments are direct transfers of money or economic value from one
party to another without an exchange of goods or services in return.
Variable Costs are the costs that change in response to changes in level of
output by a firm. These costs often include energy, labor, and supplies.
Willingness to Pay is the amount a n individual would be willing to pay if he
or she could obtain the item by making a payment. The maximum amount h e
would be willing to pay for the item measures its value to him in monetary
Willingness to Accept is the amount one would have to pay the individual if
he or she could be induced by a payment to go without the item. The minimum
amount that he should be willing to accept to forego the item is an alternative
monetary measure of its value (alternative to willingness to pay).

To top