This ecosystem services valuation was the first comprehensive economic analysis of the entire Colorado River Basin, a 249,000 square mile region spanning across mountains, plateaus, and low-lying valleys of the American Southwest. Colorado River Basin ecosystems provide a suite of ecosystem services that includes water supply, flood risk reduction, and recreation. The analysis highlighted the importance of engaging water utilities stakeholders, as the Basin's ecosystems provide between $56.5 billion and $466.5 billion in economic benefits every year.
*This report was edited in 2016 to reflect updated water use data. In 2017, we added an addendum, The Benefits and Costs of Snow in the Upper Colorado Basin, which is also available as a stand-alone report.