The Kansas Water Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has recently completed an assessment of the value of the recreation and water supply uses supplied by Perry Lake, Milford Lake and Tuttle Creek reservoirs.
The results of the study show that spending related to recreation use at Perry Lake, Milford Lake and Tuttle Creek is more than $45.3 million annually.
Tracy Streeter, director of the water office, said between 80 and 90 percent of the visitors to the lakes are from outside the region, meaning they bring new money into the area and improve the economy of the communities in the area around the lakes.
"During these trying economic times this is great news for the State of Kansas," Streeter says.
There are many benefits to the three Kansas reservoirs. In addition to being a great economic resource, they are a main source of water supply for municipal and industrial clients. Another component of the study describes the impacts of navigation releases on in-service water supply storage.
"The influence of these lakes on attracting recreational spending, particularly from outside their regions, is impressive, says Robin Jennison, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. "The study sheds light on how important all of our state's water resources are to our economy and to the people and natural resources they support."
KWO administers the State's Water Marketing and Water Assurance Programs to help meet the water supply needs of municipalities and industries in Kansas. The value of the three reservoirs water supply was estimated at $294 million for in-service water supply. This value reflects the avoided costs of constructing new reservoirs and estimated mitigation costs to supply Kansas cities and towns with quality drinking water. If these reservoirs had to be constructed today the total costs would be more than $4.7 billion.
There are 14 reservoirs with state-owned storage in Kansas. The Kansas Reservoir Assessment study shows the many benefits they provide, including recreation, wildlife and aquatic habitat; flood and drought protection as well as water supply for two-thirds of the Kansas population.
For a complete version of the study go to: http://www.kwo.org/reports_publications/Reports/KRA_Final%20Report_FULL%20DOCUMENT_March%202011.pdf.