U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Regional Economic Impacts from Timber Check Dam Construction—A Comparison with Concrete Check Dam Construction

Tomohumi Huzita, Ryu Noda, Chihiro Kayo
Forests 2020 v.11 no.10 pp. -
business enterprises, concrete, dams (hydrology), disaster preparedness, disasters, economic impact, flood control, harvesting, income, input output analysis, interviews, lumber, prices, rain, runoff, sediments, typhoons, Japan
Recently, many mountain disasters caused by natural phenomena, such as typhoons and heavy rains, have struck Japan, where check dams are used as important disaster prevention structures. Meanwhile, increased timber use in Japan is expected to revitalize regional economies, thus drawing attention to the use of timber in check dams. However, comparisons between timber and concrete check dams, in terms of their impact on the regional economy, have been overlooked in previous studies. Therefore, targeting Akita Prefecture in Japan, we evaluated quantitatively the respective regional economic impact of timber and concrete check dam construction through an input–output analysis. An extended input–output table was developed based on the revenue and expenditure data obtained from interviews with check dam construction companies. The construction cost and amount of sediment runoff prevention of a concrete check dam was unified with those of a timber check dam to evaluate their respective economic impact. In both cases, the impact of timber check dam construction was about 12 to 13% larger. In brief, timber check dam construction was found to have a more positive impact on the regional economy than concrete check dam construction. However, with the regional self-sufficiency ratio of the lumber and wood products sector at less than 20%, or the lumber price at 60% of its current price, the economic impact of constructing a timber check dam becomes smaller than that of a concrete check dam. In other words, it is important to harvest, process, and use timber regionally to contribute to the regional economy. Specifically, using timber that is processed, rather than simply harvested, in the region has a larger economic impact on the region. Additionally, in timber check dam construction, procuring inexpensive timber and reducing construction costs may be a trade-off for revitalizing the regional economy.