Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
Abt Associates is developing the SafeWater CBX computer model for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (EPA/OGWDW). This model will be used by EPA to estimate the costs and benefits of all future drinking water regulations. SafeWater CBX is a stand-alone model that performs cost-benefit analyses of drinking water standards. Users can compare the effects of different standards in a single model run. The model is flexible and customizable; users can model different combinations of maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), discount rates, and other model parameters, and select from existing dose response functions or add new ones.
SafeWater CBX is the latest incarnation of the economic analysis model developed by EPA/OGWDW to estimate the cost and benefits of drinking water regulations. It is designed as a "generic model" that, with the appropriate modifications in inputs, can estimate the costs, benefits, benefit-cost ratio, and economic impacts that would result from the implementation of drinking water rules for different drinking water contaminants. The model can simultaneously consider two or more user-specified MCLs, so that comparisons can readily be made.
SafeWater CBX builds upon the fundamental modeling approaches of two earlier Abt Associates models: SafeWater XL (cost model) and SafeWater XL (benefits model). SafeWater CBX expands on these models in the following ways: first, it incorporates the known input variability across individuals and/or public water systems (PWSs) in input parameters and the outputs include estimates of the variability across individuals and/or PWSs; second, it incorporates the known uncertainty in input parameters with outputs that include both best estimates and confidence intervals representing the uncertainty of the results.
In addition, SafeWater CBX is the first model EPA/OGWDW has developed that estimates both the benefits and costs of alternative regulatory options at the same time using the same input data. It takes advantage of the latest in computer technology to increase computational efficiency.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.