A University of Wyoming economist contributed to a new paper that demonstrates why keeping local lakes and other water bodies clean can deliver valuable social benefits both locally and globally.

The paper, which may be found here, was published online Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

The research was led by the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Director John Downing.

Stephen Newbold, an assistant professor of economics at UW, is a co-author of the study.

Public do-not-drink orders, damages to fishing activity, lost recreational opportunities, decreased property values and increased likelihood of low birth weight among infants born to mothers exposed to polluted water from lakes with harmful algal blooms are some of the reasons that clean water is important.

The researchers found that keeping water clean can help slow climate change, with a global social value of up to trillions of dollars.

The authors estimated the costs of global climate change due to eutrophication from 2015 to 2050 to be as much as $81 trillion.

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