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Concerns About Drinking Water Pollution at 15-year High
Drinking water pollution is major environmental concern. With the continuing high-profile instance of polluted drinking water in Flint, Michigan concerns about the issue of drinking water pollution have remained on people’s minds. In fact, a recent study by the Gallup Poll Social Series, such concern has not been seen since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. While the Gallup has also recorded increased public concern about many other ecological problems (i.e., climate change, loss of tropics rain forests, and termination of plants and animal species), water pollution is the biggest worry.
Americans tend to be more concerned about water pollution than they have in over 15 years (since 2001). People are stressed over the not just drinking water pollution but the pollution of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs too. The Flint disaster only exemplifies the larger anxiety minorities and lesser income feel about water pollution problems. As a result heightened stress about drinking water pollution has continued even though the EPA has issued federal funds to address the disaster.
Drinking water pollution concerns
The elevated levels of lead in the public drinking water in Flint first came to public awareness in 2015. This, along with news about a variety of other contaminants in the Flint water system, has thrown the problem of water pollution into a national spotlight. Gallup started monitoring concerns about water pollution in 1999, whereas polls about environmental stresses started being collected 10 years earlier in 1989. Since that time, 48%-72% of Americans have expressed concerns about the pollution of drinking water. Worries about these problems were greatest around lowest in 2000, and 2010-2012. This could be due to the state of the market. Essentially, when the economy is strong, Americans are more likely to prioritize environmental issues.
Key points from the Gallup poll about drinking water pollution concerns
- 63% worry a great deal about drinking water pollution.
- 57% worry a great deal about pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs
- Low-income and nonwhite Americans more concerned about water pollution.
Read more about the Gallup poll here: In US, Water Pollution Worries Highest Since 2001
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