The Economic Impact of Arizona’s Rivers, Lakes, and Streams

How water-based outdoor recreation contributes to statewide and local economies.

Arizona’s waterways, enjoyed by over 1.5 million residents each year, contribute $13.5 billion to the state’s economy and support 114,000 jobs, according to a report released by Audubon Arizona. The study was completed with guidance from business, civic, governmental, outdoor recreation, conservation and tourism representatives and conducted by economics research firm Southwick Associates.

Water-based outdoor recreation as an industry ranks above mining and golf in terms of total economic output to the state. The industry contributes $7.1 billion to Arizona’s GDP, provides $4.5 billion in household income and generates $1.8 billion in tax revenues.

The rivers, lakes and streams of Arizona are an economic powerhouse—these results prove that. The fate of birds and people are deeply connected. Our waterways need to be protected, not only for the vital bird, fish and wildlife habitat they provide, but also to sustain Arizona’s economy today and into the future.

In order to conserve and protect the waterways we care about, we’re making the economic case for why their demise—due to drought, diversions, and a changing climate—would be so devastating for Arizona.

Read on to learn more.

Read the Executive Summary


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