New Survey Digs Into Americans’ Views On Water — KUNC

Photo credit: Maricopa County, Arizona

From KUNC (Luke Runyon):

The Water Main, a project from American Public Media, wanted to know how Americans think, feel and worry about their water. Among their findings is that knowledge of water issues isn’t the biggest predictor of whether someone takes the effort to act. Personal connections to particular rivers, lakes and oceans led to more concrete conservation measures.

“The big surprise is that knowledge, how much we know, and action aren’t as tightly correlated as we might think they are,” said Amy Skoczlas Cole, Water Main’s managing editor. “It wasn’t actually the people who knew the most about water who were doing the most, it was the people who felt the most connected to water who were taking the most action.”

Half of those surveyed reported feeling a strong personal connection to a river, lake, ocean or other body of water.

More people over the age of 65 felt this way than those under the age of 45, the survey found…

The survey also found geographic and regional differences in how people think about water. Residents of Western states were more likely than the rest of the country to vote with water issues top of mind, but knew less about sources of water pollution than those in the Northeast or Midwest.

Western respondents were also twice as likely to say that water was too heavily regulated than those in eastern regions of the country.

Westerners were more likely to share information about water with others. 44% of western residents said they share information about water and water related issues at least once a month, which was the highest of any group surveyed.

The survey aimed to measure attitudes and perceptions about water. It looked at four specific dimensions: how much people know about water, how much they care, how concerned they are and their actions to protect water…

The survey is titled Water + Us, and it was compiled by the APM Research Lab and the Water Main.

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