Water: Healthy Watersheds
Healthy Watersheds Initiative Fact Sheet
The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds
This fact sheet presents the economic benefits of protecting healthy watersheds by highlighting examples from existing peer-reviewed literature and studies. The fact sheet describes studies that demonstrate protecting healthy watersheds can reduce capital costs for water treatment plants and reduce damages to property and infrastructure due to flooding, thereby avoiding future costs. Additionally, examples in the fact sheet show that protecting healthy watersheds can generate revenue through property value premiums, recreation, and tourism. This fact sheet directs readers to important resources to learn more about the substantial efforts to monetize ecosystem services from across the country.
Healthy watersheds provide a variety of ecological services that are expensive and at times impossible to recreate once compromised. EPA’s Healthy Watersheds Initiative (HWI) is intended to protect the nation’s remaining healthy watersheds, prevent them from becoming impaired, and accelerate our restoration successes. The HWI encourages interested states to take a strategic systems approach to protecting healthy watersheds that recognizes the dynamic and interconnected nature of aquatic ecosystems.