The HazlewoodPatch, a local newspaper in Hazlewood, Mo., has an Aug. 16 article with the headline "In Tough Economy, Midwest Businesses Say Jobs Depend on Clean Water."
The article begins:
"As the largest watershed in the United States, the Mississippi River Basin is something of a workaholic.
"The Mississippi River basin drains all or part of 31 states, irrigates the country’s bread basket, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists, cools several power plants, and supplies drinking water to 15 million people. It also creates jobs.
"'People underestimate how crucial water is to a strong economy,' says Hanys Kubik, who manages the Great Waters Brewing Company, a producer of food and specialty beers in St. Paul, Minnesota. 'If businesses like ours have to pay more to find water sources or purify water, that's money that can’t be spent on say, more jobs at the brewery. People take [clean water] for granted and forget about that. Clean water is as much a job creator as any.'"
This is true in rural areas that are supported by local lakes, rivers and streams as much as it is for the Mississippi River and the major cities and industries it supports.