A recent report by the Clean Water Council (CWC) steps up to illuminate facts that our elected officials need to know, in a time when Congress is considering a massive economic stimulus package. They need to know what we already do — investment in clean water infrastructure can create significant economic benefits right away.
Titled “Sudden Impact: Assessment of Short-Term Economic Impacts of Water and Wastewater Projects in the United States,” the report shows that a $1 billion-investment in water and wastewater infrastructure results in total national output (i.e., demand for products and services in all industries) of between $2.87 and $3.46 billion, creates up to 26,669 new jobs (with average annual earnings for the construction portion of the jobs at an impressive $50,396) and generates personal (household) income of between $1.01 and $1.06 billion. In addition, each $1 billion invested generates approximately $82.4 million in state and local tax revenue.
The report also shows that the targeted water and wastewater investment programs contained in pending economic stimulus legislation could, in short order, generate more than 300,000 skilled positions paying living wages.
The results are based on actual data collected from 116 water and wastewater construction projects in five demographically diverse states, including 73 different counties. The projects were completed in 2006 and 2007, and encompass a comprehensive array of geographic regions, project types, size, materials, construction methods and labor markets. The output, jobs and income (direct, indirect and induced) tied to these projects were determined at the county, state and national levels using two respected input-output models and multipliers (IMPLAN and RIMS II).