Poll reveals most Americans don't know where their tap water comes from

June 21, 2007
Today marks the official start to summer and as temperatures steadily increase across the U.S., so will Americans' thirst for water. EnviroMedia's survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation January 11-14 among 1,015 Americans, showed that only 32 percent of Americans say they "definitely know" the natural source of their drinking water. However, there is a high willingness among Americans to conserve water in order to ensure a plentiful supply for the future...

• Results indicate that the more consumers know, the more willing they are to save

AUSTIN, TX, June 21, 2007 -- Today marks the official start to summer and as temperatures steadily increase across the U.S., so will Americans' thirst for water.

EnviroMedia's survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation January 11-14 among 1,015 Americans, showed that only 32 percent of Americans say they "definitely know" the natural source of their drinking water. However, there is a high willingness among Americans to conserve water in order to ensure a plentiful supply for the future.

"Our research suggests Americans would do their part to save hundreds of millions of gallons of water a day if they were reminded that their drinking water originates from a natural source, such as a lake or river, before it gets to their taps," said EnviroMedia President Kevin Tuerff. "The link between knowledge of a local water source and willingness to conserve is never more important than during hot, dry summer months when water use peaks in most communities."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American family uses about 400 gallons of water a day, and about 30 percent of that is devoted to outdoor use as homeowners and businesses try to keep their grass green. But the EPA says as much as 50 percent of water used outdoors may be wasted due to run-off, evaporation and over-watering, putting a strain on community water supplies in many parts of the country.

According to EnviroMedia's poll, 90 percent of Americans are willing to conserve at least 5 percent of their current water use. Almost one-fifth are willing to conserve as much as 20 percent.

"Ensuring ample water supply for our children over the next few decades is a big concern in many parts of the U.S.," said Carole Baker, Chair of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, a national organization advocating for water efficiency research and education. "It's heartening to know there is hope with education."

In the same study, 65 percent of Americans claimed to know the fuel source for their electricity. Only 16 percent cited coal, America's primary fuel source for electricity and major contributor to climate change.

"Although these two statistics may seem unrelated, they tell an important story," said EnviroMedia CEO Valerie Davis. "In general, it seems that Americans are uneducated consumers when it comes to their utilities and this lack of knowledge may create an unintended barrier to conservation."

Based in Texas, EnviroMedia Social Marketing is the nation's only communications firm that works solely on environmental and public health campaigns. EnviroMedia is a leading expert on water conservation and energy issues. EnviroMedia researches, develops and implements campaigns educating consumers about how to protect and save water. Working with the Texas Water Development Board, EnviroMedia created the brand "Water IQ: Know Your Water," which has been implemented in communities across Texas.

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