Water: Importance of Water
Importance of Water Study
EPA’s study on the importance of water is comprised of five study components:
Part 1 – Background Report
The background report is a literature review and general analysis of U.S. economic and water resource statistics. The purpose of the background report is to provide a consistent set of conceptual and statistical information on key sectors of the U.S. economy, and to provide a foundation for evaluating cross-cutting themes. It was also used to identify broad focal areas to solicit proposals for further research in Part 2 (Expert Papers) of the study.
Public Review Draft (PDF) (262 pp, 5.5MB, About PDF)
Part 2 – Expert Papers
Seven papers were funded as part of this study to examine various aspects of water use in the U.S. economy. The purpose of these papers is to go beyond the literature referenced in the background report to support current economic research on the use and economic value of water across various sectors and regions.
Part 3 - Technical Workshop
EPA hosted a one-day technical workshop in September 2012 in Washington, DC. The purpose of the workshop was to present the findings from the background report and expert papers, and to engage a diverse mix of analysts and decision-makers from different regions and sectors of the economy in a technical discussion on:
- Challenges private and public sector decision-makers face in managing and using water resources;
- Methods and tools analysts use to generate information to support decision-making; and
- Gaps in information that would improve management and use of water resources.
Part 4 - Synthesis Report
The synthesis report will summarize key findings from the background report, expert papers, and technical workshop, and offer suggestions for meeting for future needs, including filling research and information gaps.
Highlights Document (8 pp, 832K, About PDF)
Public Review Draft (available in the coming months)
Part 5 - Public Symposium
EPA hosted a half-day symposium on December 4, 2012 in Washington, DC. The goals of the symposium were:
- To provide a forum for sharing information on the role and importance of water to different sectors of the U.S. economy;
- To initiate a dialogue with public and private sector leaders on the types of information used to guide business’ decisions related to water management; and
- To explore ways to fill information gaps and prepare for future water needs.
Four roundtables were conducted with different speakers addressing the topics of infrastructure and technology, agriculture, food and beverage production, recreation, tourism and development, and energy. Videos of the symposium are available.
If you have difficulty accessing PDF documents on this page, please contact the Importance of Water Group (ImportanceOfWater@epa.gov) for assistance.