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Water Tops Environmental Concerns Worldwide: Survey

Tracy Stanton

A new survey released this week at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, shows that water pollution and a shortage of fresh water top the list as the most important water-related issues worldwide.

21 August 2009 | STOCKHOLM | A new survey released this week at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, shows that water pollution and a shortage of fresh water top the list as the most important water-related issues worldwide. The poll surveyed 1,000 people in 15 countries, and probed 500 in each of the following countries on specific questions: Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, the UK and the US. The survey focused on attitudes about fresh water sustainability, management and conservation and discovered that people around the world view water issues as the planet's most

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pressing environmental challenge more than air pollution, depletion of natural resources and biodiversity and climate change. The survey was conducted by GlobeScan, a global survey research firm, sponsored by the Molson Coors Brewing Company and commissioned by the Circle of Blue, a Michigan-based international network of leading journalists, scientists and communicators focused on global water issues. A closer look at the survey results reveals that across the 15 countries surveyed:

• 93 percent say water pollution is a very serious (72%) or somewhat serious (21%) problem.
• 91 percent believe that a shortage of fresh water is a very serious (71%) or somewhat serious (20 %) problem.

Across the seven focus countries noted above, the survey found:

• Government is considered among the most responsible for ensuring clean water.
• 78 percent think that solving drinking water problems will require significant help by companies.
• 76 percent indicated they needed more information to be able to do more to protect water.

While the results demonstrate a high level of agreement on the importance of the issue, key differences between countries suggest that the solutions need to take into account local conditions. Tracy Stanton is the Water Program Manager of the Ecosystem Marketplace. She can be reached at tstanton(at)ecosystemmarketplace.com. Please see our Reprint Guidelines for details on republishing our articles.

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