Center for Water Resource Economics (CWRE)


The Center for Water Resource Economics is an applied research center for measuring the economic, environmental and social impacts of water resource policy and economics. This Center of Excellence will encourage wise management of water resources and promote economic development. It will focus on the significant economic potential of the considerable water resources of the region while continuing to provide for environmental conservation.

Our river systems are responsible for thousands of jobs and hold great potential for future economic development prospects through the competitive advantages offered by our region’s water systems.

Troy University is the only public university in Alabama to make significant efforts in supporting the study and analysis of water resource issues from an economic policy perspective. Our research efforts in this area date back nearly 20 years.

The Center is currently undertaking joint work with the Tri Rivers Waterway Development Association (TRWDA), including the update of the 2008 report addressing the economic impact/value of water resources on the Lower Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint Watershed. The Center has also worked with the State of Alabama on accessing its water use on a county and watershed basis, as well as the projection of self-supplied industrial water use into the future.

The Center maintains ongoing relationships with water resource activities in the region. Specifically, the staff works closely with ACF Stakeholders, the Alabama Water Resources Symposium and Conference, and offers its own annual conference in cooperation with the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.

Via a recent contract to manage the day-to-day affairs of the TRWDA, the Center will maintain liaison with local, state, and federal agencies concerning water resource activities in the region. Through these relationship, the Center is an asset to the region in protecting its valuable water resources.

Troy University’s Center for Water Resource Economics (CWRE) is dedicated to the use of economic tools and other scientific measures in addressing water resource issues.


Billy Turner, the former president of Columbus Water Works, leads the Troy University Center for Water Resource Economics. Mr. Turner, who has more than 50 years of water resource management experience in both the public and private sectors, guides the center’s research into the economic impact of water in the region as well as the issue of shared-water and policies surrounding it.

Turner began his career with the Tennessee Valley Authority and later worked in the pulp and paper industry, and then as a CEO of Water Utilities in Spartanburg, S.C. Turner served for 20 years as President of the Columbus Water Works. Upon retirement in 2009, Turner turned his attention to consulting and volunteer work, including the Chattahoochee River Restoration Project and the ACF Stakeholders Inc., an organization dedicated to the development of a sustainable water management plan for the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers.

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Billy Turner