Study Examines Economic Impact of Water Infrastructure Investment

Two water research foundations recently released a joint study showing the significant impact of the water utility sector on the U.S. economy.

The study, titled “The National Economic and Labor Impacts of the Water Utility Sector,” was conducted by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the Water Research Foundation (WRF). It was based on the planned operating and capital investment plans of 30 public water utilities and concluded that these water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities will contribute approximately $524 billion to the U.S. economy over the next decade and will support roughly 289,000 permanent jobs.

Among other findings, the study shows that

– the impact of utilities’ investments on jobs is comparable to investments in clean energy, transportation, and health care, and greater than investments in military spending or personal income tax

– the total annual employment impact of the water utility sector exceeds the total workforce of many major cities, including New Orleans, Miami, and Pittsburgh

– the combined economic contribution by utilities exceeds the gross regional product of metropolitan areas such as Chattanooga and Santa Barbara.

In the coming decade, the 30 participating utilities studied will undertake projects to replace aging infrastructure, improve local water quality, and expand services to accommodate increased demand. These projects are expected to support more than 131,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

To see the full report, click here.

CWC has repeatedly touted the significant role that investments in water infrastructure projects play in our local and national economies and their value in creating long term, stable jobs. We are pleased to see that this study bears out these economic benefits.


About Clean Water Council

The Clean Water Council (CWC) is a group of national organizations representing underground construction contractors design professionals, manufacturers and suppliers, labor unions and other committed to ensuring a high quality of life through sound environmental infrastructure. Working in concert, CWC's 39 national organizations, advocate federal legislation and policies that will promote clean water and improve the nation's failing infrastructure.​
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