Water Pollution Issues And Concerns In The Pacific Northwest, USA
Free (open access)
R. Mahler, M. Barber & B. Shafii
Over 90% of Pacific Northwest residents consider safe drinking water, clean rivers and groundwater protection to be the three most important environmental issues in the region. Consequently, pollution prevention is the key to protect these water-related issues. Public input has been sought on a regular basis (2002, 2007 and 2012) to identify major pollution sources of concern. Statistically designed regional surveys conducted at five-year intervals identified industry as the pollution source of most concern. In addition 32.0, 30.5, 29.2 and 25.5% of the public identified animal production, crop production, storm water runoff and erosion due to roads and construction as significant sources of water pollution, respectively. Fewer than 18% of survey respondents considered runoff from home landscapes, wastewater treatment plants, landfills, forestry, mining and military bases as being major polluters. The demographic factors of state of residence, community size, gender and highest level of formal education significantly impacted the responses from citizens surveyed. The public ranking of pollution sources do not match data collected at the state level. Public education should be modified to appropriately proportionally address pollution sources based on their actual harm to water resources. Keywords: public opinion, pollution issues, pollution concerns, adult education, public outreach.
public opinion, pollution issues, pollution concerns, adult education, public outreach.