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A newly released Grundfos consumer research survey reveals a divide between the concerns held by water utilities over key water-related issues, and the lack of urgency among consumers regarding those same issues. The global pump manufacturer polled consumers across the country last month to learn how they value water.
Over one-third of respondents consider themselves “not knowledgeable enough” about the condition of their local water supply.
In the same way that most Americans can’t name what brand of water heater is in their basements until their showers turn ice cold, many Americans haven’t really had a reason to learn more about their water utility company and the work it does everyday.
Despite 60 percent of respondents rating the service their water utility provides as good or very good, while 54 percent of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with water service, there is a disconnect between the realities facing water utility companies and the perceptions consumers have regarding the future of water delivery.
For example, nearly half of respondents believe they will never be affected by a water shortage. In contrast, 40 out of 50 water utility managers say they expect a water shortage within the next ten years, brought on by factors such as climate change and population growth, according to a recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Most of America’s pipes, sewers, pumps and other water-related components date back to the 1940s or earlier; 54 percent of respondents ranked water supply and sewage systems in the top three most important public infrastructures, after schools and hospitals.
69 percent trust their water utility to provide clean, safe water
63 percent “agree” or “strongly agree” that access to clean water is an issue in the U.S.
42 percent believe they may be affected by water shortage in anywhere from 1-11 years
2 percent believe they should pay more when evaluating water bill compared to water use
49 percent are concerned about rate increases
35 percent rate themselves as “not knowledgeable enough” or “not at all knowledgeable of local water supply
In addition to the national survey findings, state-specific consumer viewpoints are available for Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Click here to access the report http://us.grundfos.com/whorunsthewater/download-report.html.