Water conservation offers economic benefits too

Water utilities take note: Reducing reliance on imported water not only has environmental benefits, it also stimulates economic and job growth.

Economic and Job Impacts of Investments in Water Use Efficiency  Redirecting to a non-government site, a study by the Economic Roundtable  Redirecting to a non-government site, analyzes $1.2 billion of public investments in various aspects of water efficiency in Los Angeles County. The economic effects of projects in storm water retention, water conservation, recycled water, ecosystem restoration, irrigation systems repair and groundwater management produced well-paid jobs and business growth in 38 industries and 34 occupations, the report found.

The report encompasses topics like “green” training for conventional jobs, the importance of public outreach and the multiplier effect—the way water conservation projects reach into many, seemingly unrelated industries.

Researchers from the nonprofit public policy research group studied five different categories of water use efficiency: water conservation, gray water, recycled water, groundwater management and remediation projects. While the study focused on California, many of the projects could be carried out elsewhere in the West.

Green Technology Magazine  Redirecting to a non-government site interviewed Patrick Burns, Economic Roundtable senior researcher who co-authored the report, discussing the findings and changing directions the research took.