The report found a 3:1 economic return for investing in New Jersey water infrastructure
A new analysis completed by the American Road & Transportation Builders Assn. (ARTBA) found that an additional $1 billion annual investment dedicated to improving New Jersey’s drinking water, wastewater and storm water systems would create $3 billion in economic benefits and support nearly 14,000 jobs.
According to the Utility and Transportation Contractors Assn. of New Jersey (UTCA), current spending on the networks that supply clean drinking water, treat wastewater and drain storm water is estimated to average approximately $1 billion per year. However, there still is approximately a $2 billion in needed investment annually.
“New Jersey is looking at a $1 billion shortfall every year,” said Bob Briant, Jr., CEO of UTCA. “This report shows unequivocally that increasing investment in our water systems is a tremendous boon for our fiscal health as well as our public health. With an ROI that benefits our communities as well as our coffers, it is clear that the time for talk is over. Now we must get to work.”
The analysis also found that sales and output by businesses in all sectors would increase by $2.1 billion for every $1 billion invested in water infrastructure. 13,787 jobs would be supported or created through the state economy each year and workers would earn a cumulative $739.5 million per annum, generating $143 million in additional state and local tax revenues. The study found that the investments in water infrastructure would contribute $1.2 billion to New Jersey’s GDP annually.
“A major commitment to improving New Jersey’s water infrastructure systems is a win-win proposition,” aid Dr. Alison Premo Black, the study’s author. “The increased investment will not only help prevent future service disruptions and potential public health hazards, but also have enormous positive impacts on the state’s economic productivity and job creation.”
The full report can be viewed here.