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Study: Drought threatens key jobs

Dan McSwain, U-T SAN DIEGO

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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Those are some of the conclusions of a report released Tuesday by the National University System Institute of Policy Research. In a unique study of how industries use water, analysts compared federal data from 2009 business water bills, the only such information available, and employment in 2013.
There were caveats: Analysts couldn’t measure reductions since 2009 from conservation investments. Also, although life sciences use water to produce living organisms, some of the sector’s consumption probably comes from watering landscaping outside office buildings, a use that’s easier to cut without job losses.
Erik Bruvold, president of the institute, singled out life sciences as warranting “special concern,” given its importance to the economy. “It’s a really big jobs number, and, if you weight it by salary, it gets even bigger,” he said.