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RMW January 2017

ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER JANUARY 2017 | 17 FEATURE expenditures resulted in a combined total of 289,000 jobs and $52 billion per year generated in economic activity. The utilities involved in the study directly employ 36,500 workers. In 2016, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the WateReuse Association, both headquartered in Alexandria, conducted an analysis to estimate the economic impact of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. These programs are considered to be among the most successful infrastructure funding programs administered by the federal government and implemented by individual states, having provided billions of dollars in low-interest loans for thousands of projects. The study showed that for every SRF dollar spent, 21.4% is returned to the federal government in the form of taxes. An advantage of the SRF program is the leveraging of state program funds to enhance the investment. Thus, the proposed $34.7 billion in federal allocation will leverage an additional $116.2 billion in state spending. Together, the proposed federal allocations and state SRF program funds will result in $32.3 billion in federal tax revenue. When these leveraged state funds are taken into account, $0.93 of federal tax revenue is generated for every $1 of federal investment. The study also documented increased employment and labor income as well as increases in total economic output. WEF and WateReuse also used the IMPLAN model to evaluate the economic impacts of proposed federal SRF allocations used through an IMPLAN model results per 1 billion of SRF summary. SRF spending generates high-paying jobs — each job is estimated to bring about $60,000 in labor income. On average, 16.5 jobs are generated for every million dollars in water and wastewater capital investments. The figure shows the distribution of employment impacts and compares the water and transportation sectors. The water sector gains between 10 and 25 jobs per million dollars of capital expenditures. Comparatively, the transportation sector show equivalent impacts, with job creation estimates ranging between 13 and 20 jobs per million dollars invested. The most important areas that overlapped in both sectors were syphoned down to six categories: The economic role of water reuse, impact of water spending, benefit of water reuse investment, economic return on investment, impact of future scenarios for strategic planning, and online performance tracking. The framework developed is outlined below with specific impact measure questions that planners can refer to when evaluating their utilities: Figure 1. U.S. jobs created by water investment (16.5 jobs created per million dollars invested)


RMW January 2017
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