Page 16

RMW January 2017

16 | ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER JANUARY 2017 FEATURE The Transportation Economic Development Impact System (TREDIS) is a model commonly used to provide economic development impact evaluation and benefit-cost analysis. The Economic Impact of Water Infrastructure Learning from the Transportation Sector By Marisa Tricas A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE water sector is taking place, where treated wastewater is being recog-nized as a high-quality resource that can be recovered. This shift has enhanced the status of water reuse as an alterna-tive water source in integrated water supply planning. Economic evaluations of water reuse often focus on the project itself and its direct benefits to the util-ity. But as utilities expand their analyses beyond the project itself, the economic development indicators sometimes are seen in the social leg of the triple bottom line, such as the number of jobs created and the water resources used for recreation. To help decision-makers better quantify the indirect and induced economic development impacts of water investments, we can look at the metrics from existing economic frameworks in other sectors, such as transportation. These frameworks can be applied to the water sector to help planners see holistic economic alternatives and sustainable investments that water reuse and reclamation projects can contribute to their local communities. Adopting tools from transportation Other infrastructure sectors are much more developed than the water sector when it comes to identifying the economic impacts for project investments. Full economic frameworks and tools already exist in the transportation sector and have been successfully implemented in communities throughout the country and the world. The Transportation Economic Development Impact System (TREDIS) is a model commonly used to provide economic development impact evaluation and benefit-cost analysis. Currently, 45 US governmental agencies use this tool in 35 states. In 2014, the Water Research Foundation (Denver, Colorado) and the Water Environment Research Foundation (Alexandria, Virginia) released the report National Economic & Labor Impacts of the Water Utility Sector. This study examined the actual or planned expenditures of 30 water utilities across the United States and quantified direct, indirect, and induced economic benefits. This report was the first to aggregate the national economic impact of water utilities’ planned and capital budgets using an economic input-output analysis. The study used the IMPLAN model, which is part of TREDIS to model the way a dollar injected into one sector is spent and re-spent in other sectors of the economy, generating waves of economic activity. The study found the


RMW January 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above