On The Radio – UNI study examines Iowans’ views on water quality


(Iowa Department of Natural Resources)
(Iowa Department of Natural Resources)
Nick Fetty | May 9, 2016

This week’s On The Radio segment looks at a recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Northern Iowa which examined Iowans’ behaviors and views related to water quality.

Transcript: UNI study examines Iowans’ views on water quality

A majority of Iowans are willing to change their behavior to help improve water quality, according to a University of Northern Iowa survey.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Public Perceptions of Water Quality in Iowa: A Statewide Survey, produced by the UNI Center for Social & Behavioral Research, recorded answers to a range of questions posed to Iowans on their views on water quality. Seventy percent of those surveyed said they would be willing to change a single behavior to improve water quality.

Andrew Stephenson (Project Coordinator, Center for Social and Behavioral Research): “One of the many aims of this project was to gather baseline information on Iowans’ reported engagement in positive behaviors related to water quality, such as picking up pet waste, washing vehicles at commercial car washes, and properly disposing of hazardous waste. Using this information, the Department of Natural Resources will work to develop an outreach campaign that educates the public and encourages positive behavior change among Iowans to improve and protect the quality of Iowa’s lakes, rivers, and creeks. Additionally, these data can serve as a benchmark to which the DNR can compare future measures to evaluate the effectiveness of their outreach efforts.”

Water-saving behavior changes could include refraining from pouring fat or oils down the drain, avoiding the garbage disposal and composting instead, going meatless for one day per week, and even placing a brick or half-gallon jug in a toilet tank to save water when flushing.

For more information from the survey, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

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