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Two Recently Released National Surveys Measure American Perception and Concern over Drinking Water

Last week, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) released the results of a recent survey analyzing the public’s perception of drinking water. The survey used a sample of 2,200 U.S. adults, 1,940 of which responded that they are served by a water utility. Notable results include:

  • 77% of those served by a water utility rate their water as excellent or good.
  • 78% of adults with a water utility also report they are satisfied with the water they receive at their faucet.
  • In an open-ended analysis of how adults rate the quality, safety, and satisfaction of their water, current perceptions of water
    seem judged by the taste, look, and smell.
  • The decision to drink bottled water is driven by convenience, but demographic variables such as community-type and income-level
    also play a role.
  • By better informing water utility customers about infrastructure updates, the environmental benefits of drinking tap water, and the filtration processes, utilities can improve the reputation of tap water.
  • Adults with water utilities are split on their awareness of frequent water testing.

The Water Main, in collaboration with APM Research Lab also recently released their Water + Us: How We Think, Feel, and Take Action on Water. The report covers the results of a national survey (1,005 adult Americans) designed to measure Americans’ knowledge, connection, concern, and action related to water issues facing the country. Notable findings include:

  • 82% of respondents are concerned about the future of America’s drinking water infrastructure, including the 45% who are “very concerned.”
  • 84% of respondents are concerned about the future of America’s water resources, including the 42% who are “very concerned.”
  • 49% of respondents say there is too little governmental regulation protecting water; 9% say there is too much regulation.
  • 47% of respondents indicate that, when deciding who to vote for, it is “very important” that a candidate says that taking care of water is a priority for them.