Clean Water for a Healthy EconomyWater is essential for our economy
A Strong Economy Needs Clean Water
Bottom-line: Polluted water can wreck economies and communities. The businesses that power our economy and support our communities need the same thing as our families — clear and consistent safeguards for our water and health.
We’ve seen what happens when access to safe and clean water is interrupted — life is interrupted. Businesses and schools are forced to close. Families have to spend money on bottled water for cooking and bathing or drive miles and miles to find access to clean water. In addition to the cost of addressing and ending the crisis, communities may see increased unemployment and decreased tax revenue from shuttered businesses that can’t operate without access to water. These businesses may see sales decrease, and may be forced to make tough choices like employee furloughs, temporary cutbacks on investments, or more to recover from the crisis.
Polluters won’t police themselves. Bad corporate and business actors can often game the system to the detriment of our health and businesses that try to follow the rules. Strong clean water safeguards from EPA and other agencies ensure that bad actors can’t push the costs of their pollution onto people and businesses in their communities and downstream.
All businesses should have to follow the same rules. Unfortunately, some business interests know how to game the system to avoid playing by the rules. These bad actors destabilize the system, putting their profits before our health and water, often harming businesses focused on sustainability and hurting the communities who rely on a strong local economy.
Learn more about why businesses support campaigns to protect clean water and strengthen the fundamental laws that safeguard our water, health, and communities.
The outdoor recreation economy is vital to the national economy and it all depends on clean water. Every year, over 47 million Americans head into the field to hunt or fish. The money that sportsmen spend in pursuit of their passion supports everything from major manufacturing industries to small businesses in communities across the country. The economic benefits of hunting and fishing – which total $200 billion a year – are especially pronounced in rural areas, where money brought in during fishing and hunting seasons can be enough to keep small businesses operational for the entire year. Polluted water and degraded wildlife habitat can have a huge negative impact on the small business that power the outdoor economy.
- National parks are good for business, from tourism to recreation. Our national parks generate $10 in economic activity for every federal dollar invested.
- In 2016, national parks – which received a record -breaking 331 million visitors — pumped nearly $35 billion to the U.S. economy.
- And a recent report by the Outdoor Industry Association found that outdoor recreation alone generates $887 billion in consumer spending and supporting 7.6 million jobs annually
Clean, abundant water for fish and wildlife habitat make it possible for sportsmen and women to pursue their passion. Every year, over 47 million Americans head into the field to hunt or fish. The hunting and fishing industries in the United States directly employ 483,000 Americans and adds billions of dollars in additional spending. The economic benefits of hunting and fishing – which total $200 billion a year – are especially pronounced in rural areas, where money brought in during fishing and hunting seasons can be enough to keep small businesses operational for the entire year. However, hunting and fishing do not merely provide economic and conservation benefits. They are a heritage that we cherish and want to pass along to our children. If the nation loses streams to nutrient and other pollution and wetlands are drained, it loses fish, wildlife, and sporting access along with them
Clean rivers, streams, lakes and bays support healthy lifestyles in communities big and small, urban and rural. Families flock to parks, trails and other natural areas with safe water access. Clean rivers and the natural areas around rivers can support a variety of activities for all ages and abilities including wildlife-watching, photography, picnicking, family reunions and other gatherings. Riverside trails can support recreation and outdoor exercise, including walking, jogging, hiking, biking and swimming. A variety of studies have shown that children and adults alike benefit physically and emotionally from outdoor play and exposure to nature. Towns and cities nationwide are rediscovering their rivers as valuable assets. Clean water and equitable river access can be centerpieces of thriving neighborhoods.