Water Quality MAIN Iowa Public Television
Search Help Teacher Resources Contact Us
Web Sites Glossary Careers Explore More Project
Uses Pollutants Issues Viewpoints Water In-Depth Features

Drinking Water







This section explores some of the different recreational activities dependent on water and their economic impact.

Recreational Uses
Some of the most enjoyable uses of water are recreational, but boating is not so great when trash turns the lake into an obstacle course. And who wants to waterski on a slick, slimy river? Even more importantly, your health is at stake if you swim in water full of bacteria, or you eat fish caught in polluted waters. For many types of water-based recreation, clean water is more than desirable, it’s absolutely essential.

Clean Water Equals Money
The health and appearance of water are both factors in the economics of recreational water. The recreation and tourism industry is the second largest employer in the nation. A big chunk of recreational spending comes from water-related activities. Check out these statistics: each year, Americans take more than 1.8 billion trips to water destinations (largely for recreation), spending money and creating jobs in the process. Just one example—American anglers spend roughly $24 billion annually on their sport, which in turn generates $69 billion for the nation's economy. But if poor water quality affects the fishing, the flow of money dries up.

Clean Water Action Plan. "Clean Water Successes and Challenges." Online. http://cleanwater.gov/action/c1a.html March 2002.



Explore More: Water Quality
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
The Explore More project is supported by funds from the
Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust
and the USDE Star Schools Program.













PBS NewsHour Online Links

A group in Nevada and California looks to slow development to stem the environmental problems taking hold in Lake Tahoe. Can their plan work? Spencer Michels reports.