What North Carolina thinks about the Drought and Conservation

During the drought, I had one of those passing thoughts that it would be worthwhile to poll the general public about different water related topics, since I had not seen too many polls focused on water issues.

I guess someone at Elon University realized this, too. Elon University’s Institute for Politics and Public Affairs recently polled 473 North Carolina residents between March 10-13, 2008, about North Carolina’s water supply.

Here is a snapshot of the results:

  • 90% of those surveyed disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, “reducing water use is not my personal responsibility.”
  • 84% percent of respondents said that they are currently reducing their water use.
  • 63% percent of those surveyed said they are very concerned about the drought, while 32 percent reported being somewhat concerned.
  • 68% of citizens said that water conservation is a long-term issue that will last more than five years.
  • The top reported activities for reducing water use were:

Not watering outside: 55 percent
Taking shorter showers: 53 percent
Not washing car at home: 51 percent

  • Respondents identified the following water users as being “very responsible” for reducing statewide water use:

Local government: 62 percent
State government: 62 percent
Residents: 61 percent
Manufacturing industry: 57 percent
Business: 56 percent
Environmental groups: 56 percent
Builders and developers: 54 percent
Power companies: 53 percent

Source: Elon Poll Results


  1. Oh, goody. Another poll for the collection. These results are largely consistent with previous research on the topic. It’s remarkable how consistently some of these patterns manifest themselves.People almost always put the most responsibility for water issues on the local gov’t first, state second, feds third.Decorative landscaping is always the first area they want to see cutbacks.People have no clue how much water is used to generate electricity.Erichttp://waterwordsthatwork.com

  2. Eric said:”People have no clue how much water is used to generate electricity.”A very true statement. To carry it further, one might also say most people have very weak perceptions of most large users of water. Further, few people can distinguish between “using” water and “consuming” water. Some of our biggest users actually consume very little. It would be good if folks would take some time to read and learn about some of the topics we all tend to take for granted.

  3. Ever heard of the dual flash toilet?This will save over 67% of water used in flush. It was totally designed to consume water

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