Sustainable Water Projects Create Jobs, Pacific Institute Says

As investments in water projects increase in the U.S., so too will job prospects in at least 130 fields from landscaping to engineering, The Pacific Institute said.

Investing $1 million in a sustainable water initiative may yield as many as 72 jobs, the Oakland, California-based research group said in a report released today. About 28 of the vocations would require on-the-job training rather than a bachelor’s degree, according to the report.

“Unfortunately, the data out there doesn’t really allow for an aggregate number on all jobs in the country created by sustainable water projects or practices,” Eli Moore, one of the study’s authors, said in a Feb. 12 phone interview. “What we are very comfortable saying, after looking at all this data, is that these type of practices both increase water savings and create substantial numbers of jobs.”

A $1 million investment in an alternative water-supply project may yield 10 to 15 jobs while that same investment in water restoration and remediation may produce 72.

Job creation in fields that improve the environment “have largely focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy,” and “the growing interest in exploring green jobs in water is well-merited,” the report said. “If we continue to separate our efforts at water sustainability and economic opportunity, we may miss opportunities to strengthen both through integration.”