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Water Recreation Brings $18 Billion Annually to Colorado

Water recreation is an important contributor to the state's economy. A recent report found that water-related activities contribute an annual $18 billion to the state's economy.
June 30, 2020, 11am PDT | Lee Flannery
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A report released by the Business for Water Stewardship shows that recreation activities involving water in Colorado, an important contributor to the state's economy, add $18 billion annually to the state’s gross domestic product. The report covered nine river basins in the state and analyzed economic benefits related to sports and activities like rafting, swimming, rafting, and trail running near water. "6.7 million people participate in water-related recreation annually, supporting more than 131,000 direct and indirect jobs. That translates to $6.3 billion in household income, $2.7 billion in tax revenue and roughly $10 billion to the state’s gross domestic product," reports Judith Kohler on the findings of analysis by Southwick Associates.

Social distancing and increased interest in being in the open air have made outdoor activity an even more vital part of life in Colorado. The findings of the report as well as the Business for Water Stewardship support the Colorado Water Plan's long-term goals to meet the state's need for water while addressing climate change.

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Published on Monday, June 22, 2020 in The Denver Post
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