Majority of Americans worry about clean drinking water
Americans want to drink clean water, even more than they want to breathe clean air.
A new public survey and study conducted by Nestlé Waters North America on 4,756 American adults across the lower 48 states asked the respondents to share their views on water-related topics. The “Perspectives on America’s Water” Study, unveiled key takeaways:
-- Clean drinking water is more important than clean air to Americans
-- Two out of three Americans believe their community is vulnerable to a water crisis
- A majority of the public believes significant, immediate investments in water infrastructure are needed to avoid future water crises
- The public and water resource scientists agree that climate change will have an increasing impact on access to clean drinking water
This is a significant finding, especially in the wake of the state-inflicted water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and continued attempts to repeal many Obama-era EPA regulations on air and water. So much so that even corporations are beginning to play a role in supporting environmental efforts to assure safe drinking water.
Many American consumers and experts question whether the tap water in their home (36 percent and 30 percent, respectively) and schools (40 percent for both) is clean and safe. Parents with school-aged children under age 18 are more likely to worry: 45 percent of this group question the safety of the tap water in their schools.
There is widespread concern among Americans that water supply issues will become more pressing within the next decade with 42 percent of Americans surveyed believing water will become less available in the next 10 years. Two-thirds (66 percent) believe water crises will have widespread consequences for individuals, businesses and the United States as a whole.
In terms of specific infrastructure improvements, Americans believe it is necessary to prioritize early detection systems that identify contamination in the water supply (64 percent), more efficient water collection and purification methods (52 percent) and infrastructure to increase water access, quality and capacity (48 percent).
To accomplish this, Americans expect close collaboration from government at all levels, as well as businesses and environmental organizations. American consumers expect local (71 percent), state (71 percent) and federal governments (65 percent) to play a role in ensuring that people have access to clean drinking water, but they expect consumers (39 percent) and businesses (35 percent) to help in some way.
On the other hand, experts are more likely to see opportunities for consumers (45 percent) and businesses (40 percent) to be involved.
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