Monday, June 26, 2017

The Effect of Clean Water on the Economy

Water pollution, chemical spills, and algae blooms can wreak havoc on a community, not only by affecting the water supply and animal populations but also through many seemingly unrelated industries that tend to suffer with “dirty” water.


Keeping our water clean through regulations like the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act directly bolster the local economy by providing safe water for food & beverage production, fishing, shipping, tourism, and real estate. Even indirectly, clean water supports the Minnesota communities in which we live, work, and keep our companies profitable.

As Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner, John Linc Stine, explains, "We all want clean water. We all recognize the value it brings to Minnesota: both in terms of tangible economic benefits such as increased property values and a robust tourism industry, and intangible benefits that enrich our lives as Minnesotans. We must work together to find creative, cost-effective solutions to paying for it. We can achieve water quality when we all do our fair share.”

minnesota-1824969_640.jpgMost obviously, clean water makes for great Minnesota activities and is key to tourism. From the North Shore to Minnehaha Falls and everything in between, out-of-towners and local folks alike expect sparkling water and clear shorelines. Tourism in Minnesota is a $14 billion industry, with much of it centered around the waters that give our state its name—the land of “sky-tinted waters.”

Our clean water provides us with a healthy fishing industry and makes shipping on Lake Superior possible. The real estate industry, particularly when it comes to lakeshore properties, relies on unpolluted waters and healthy ecosystems to keep up property values.

Additionally, food & beverage industries need good quality water for production. The beer industry has become more vocal in standing up for clean water, because, “You can’t make great beer without clean water.” Put simply, “Clean water is essential to more than a great-tasting pint—it’s also critical for our health and our economy at large.”

In fact, the majority of small businesses put a high value on preserving water quality over cutting corners at the potential detriment to clean water. In this poll by the American Sustainable Business Council, 71% of small business owners agree that clean water is necessary for jobs and a healthy economy, an opinion that was held across party lines.

So let’s celebrate our beautiful waters and be diligent about keeping ecosystems and water supplies healthy. It’s just good business.

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