Iowa Lakes Valuation Project



Blue Lake   


Iowa lakes have great value to the citizens of the state. In the process of using lakes for fishing, boating, swimming and enjoying other outdoor recreation, Iowans also spend money that benefit local economies. During the 2002-2005 period, Blue Lake averaged 50,999 visitors annually. They spend an average $3.62 million annually which in turn supports 47 jobs and $0.71 million of labor income in the region.

Back to Economic Value of Direct and Secondary Recreational Spending for Blue Lake.

Scenario 1: Improving water quality by increasing Secchi transparency to 1.6 meters and reducing Total Nitrogen to 1 mg/l, Total Phosphorous to 60 µ/l, Volatile Suspended Solids to 3.13 mg/l, Inorganic Suspended Solids to 2.5 mg/l, Chlorophyll to 8.26 µ/l, Cyanobacteria 28.3 µ/l and Total Phytoplankton to 36.23 µ/l.

Scenario 2: Reducing Total Nitrogen, Total Phosphorous, and Suspended Solids by 50 percent.

Category Base Scenario 1 Scenario 2
Single Day Visitors 45,246 50,586 68,071
Multiple Day Visitors 5,753 6,432 8,655
Sales $4,692,736 $5,246,581 $7,060,052
Income $710,425 $794,271 $1,068,809
Jobs 47 53 71
Blue Lake
Single Day Trips, 2002-05 Average 45,246
Multiple Day Trips, 2002 5,753
Total Trips, 2002 50,999

Each recreation trip or visitation has an associated set of expenditures. The composition of these expenditures for typical trips of single day or multiple days (Table 1) is based on a survey of Storm Lake and Rock Creek Lake during the 2002 season. Applying these averages to the lake visitors in the above table results in the estimated spending figures in Table 2.

This level of spending is linked to other economic activity in the region as the initial expenditures are re-spent on goods and services in the regional economy. These multiplier effects are estimated with an Input-Output model for the region and are summarized in Table 3.