Iowa Lakes Valuation Project



Clear 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, Clear Lake averaged 432,312 visitors annually. They spend an average $43.36 million annually which in turn supports 529 jobs and $10.83 million of labor income in the region.

Back to Economic Value of Direct and Secondary Recreational Spending for Clear 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 332,631 350,667 448,472
Multiple Day Visitors 99,681 105,086 134,395
Sales $68,657,023 $72,379,694 $92,567,195
Income $10,831,277 $11,418,563 $14,603,327
Jobs 529 558 713
Clear Lake
Single Day Trips, 2002-05 Average 332,631
Multiple Day Trips, 2002 99,681
Total Trips, 2002 432,312

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.