Not only is Senate President Joe Negron’s initiative to purchase land and construct the EAA reservoir critical to saving America's Everglades and three vital estuaries, as well the source of drinking water for 8 million Floridians, it also makes economic sense.
A just-published study by researchers at Clemson University confirms that construction of the proposed EAA Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee will generate more than 39,000 jobs and provide economic benefits of $20 billion – an 8-to-1 return on the project’s $2.47 billion cost.
“The South (EAA) Reservoir is clearly a project with benefits vastly outweighing costs,” wrote Dr. Michael Maloney, emeritus professor of economics at Clemson University and the principal investigator in the study. “At a construction cost of $2.47 billion, the South Reservoir is a no-brainer…the longer the project is put off, the more it will cost to build.”
“The longer the project is put off, the more it will cost to build.”
By studying the potential outcomes for reservoirs north and south of Lake Okeechobee, Clemson researchers noted that “From a hydrological perspective, the South Reservoir (in the Everglades Agricultural Area) is clearly a superior project and our economic analysis puts a dollar value on it that is conspicuously large.”
The complete study by Clemson University researchers can be accessed here.