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Water: Importance of Water

Importance of Water to the United States Economy

EPA is releasing a Synthesis Report on the Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy. This report is intended to help raise the awareness of water’s importance to our national economic welfare, and to summarize information that public and private decision-makers can use to better manage the nation’s water resources. It highlights EPA’s review of the literature and practice on the importance of water to the U.S. economy, identifies key data gaps, and describes the implication of the study’s findings for future research. EPA hopes this report will be a catalyst for a broader discussion about water’s critical role in the U.S. economy.

Water is vital to a productive and growing economy in the United States, and directly affects the production of many goods and services. While some data are available about how important clean and available water is to various economic sectors--including agriculture, tourism, fishing, manufacturing, and energy production -- the information is often dispersed and incomplete. Additionally, understanding the economic significance of water is difficult because it depends upon several interacting elements: the volume supplied, where and when it is supplied, whether the supply is reliable, and whether the quality of the water meets the requirements of its intended use.

Importance of Water Synthesis Report (PDF) (37 pp, 2MB, About PDF)

Find out more about EPA's study Components
Read a blog on the report by acting Assistant Administrator Nancy Stoner.

For more information or to provide feedback to EPA on this study, please contact us at: ImportanceOfWater@epa.gov

EPA’s study is not a new law, regulation, guidance, or policy, and does not change any existing laws, regulations, guidances, or policies.

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