Position Statements

Economic Benefits of Efficient Irrigation

The irrigation industry is an important driver of economic activity. Based on a 2009 study commissioned by the Irrigation Association, the irrigation industry contributes approximately $19 billion to the gross domestic product of the United States and contributes approximately 150,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. 1

In addition to this direct economic impact, irrigated agriculture accounts for nearly 50 percent of total crop revenues in the United States, despite that only 17 percent of the nation’s cropland is irrigated. The economic value created by irrigated agriculture will continue to grow as the world works to double agricultural output between now and 2050. 2

Investments in efficient irrigation products, technology and services also lead to significant cost savings associated with water use for consumers. As the price of water increases, the benefits associated with efficient irrigation increases. Implementing efficient irrigation practices is a sound economic investment for consumers. 3

The Irrigation Association believes that the irrigation industry is a growing and significant contributor to economic growth.

Adopted by the IA Board of Directors, December 2010.

1 Honey Creek Resources, Inc./HDR Engineering, Inc. “Economic Impact and Policy Analysis Model,” prepared for the Irrigation Association (April 2010).

2 UN Food and Agriculture Association. “How to Feed the World in 2050,” discussion paper presented to “High Level Expert Forum,” Rome, Italy (Oct. 2009).

3 Hall, Charles R., University of Tennessee; Haydu, John J., University of Florida; Hodges, Alan W., University of Florida. “Economic Impacts of the Green Industry in the United States: Final Report to the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Committee,” (June 3, 2005).