One third of Australians believe residential and industrial growth puts clean water at risk

One in three (34%) global citizens confident that waste water in their country does not pose a threat to
clean water supply

Almost half of the Australian population (47%) say they are confident that wastewater does not pose a threat to their clean water supply, only one third (34%) believe this globally, according to a new Ipsos Global Advisor study to coincide with World Water Day today.

Each year since 1993 the United Nations has held World Water Day to focus global attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The theme for World Water Day 2017 is “Why waste water?” and is in support of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal to improve water quality by reducing, treating and reusing wastewater.

The Ipsos Global Advisor study sought the views of consumers in 24 countries around water and in particular, the impact of wastewater. Globally, the vast majority of all the wastewater from homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused.

Half of the world’s population (48%) say they are worried that residential and industrial growth in their country over the next five to 10 years will put their clean water supply at risk, while in Australia 38% hold this concern, the study found.

Commenting on the findings, Ipsos Social Research Institute Director, Stuart Clark, said:

“Ipsos’ latest international study suggests that most global citizens lack confidence in today’s wastewater treatment systems and are even more worried about the impact of growth and the risk it poses to clean water supplies in the future. Globally only two in 10 say they are confident that industrial and residential growth in their country will not put their clean water at risk in the next five to 10 years. In Australia just under half of those surveyed indicated they are confident that current wastewater treatment does not pose a threat to our clean water supply.

“Increasingly, governments and private sector organisations are implementing changes that better align their organisations to help them reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Ensuring proper wastewater treatment will help countries achieve the UN goal to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’.”

The countries that expressed the most confidence (with half or more of their population confident) in current waste water practices include: Hungary (67%), Germany (60%), Great Britain (52%), Sweden (51%) and Australia (47%).

The countries that expressed the least amount of confidence (with less than one quarter of their population confident) in current waste water practices include: Italy (24%), Russia (22%), Turkey (22%), South Korea (21%), Argentina (20%), Mexico (19%), Brazil (17%), Columbia (17%) and Serbia (12%).

The countries that expressed the most concern (with more than half of their population concerned) about the impact of industrial and residential growth on clean water include: Columbia (69%), Serbia (68%), Argentina (64%), Chile (64%), Peru (63%), Mexico (63%), India (59%), South Africa (58%), Hungary (56%), South Korea (53%) and Spain (51%).

The countries that expressed the least amount of concern (with less than 30% of their population concerned) about the impact of industrial and residential growth on clean water include: Germany (29%), Sweden (29%), Great Britain (29%) and Japan (16%).

-ENDS-

Notes:

  • The data is available at http://ipsos.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Waste-Water-March22.pdf
  • In total 18,070 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed between February 17th – March 3rd 2017. The survey was conducted in 24 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America). Approximately 1000+ individuals participated in each country with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, India, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample approximately 500+. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
  • Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. In countries where internet penetration is approximately 60% or higher the data output generally reflects the overall population. 16 of the 24 countries surveyed generate nationally representative samples in their countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and United States). Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Peru, Russia, South Africa and Turkey produce a national sample that is more urban & educated, and with higher incomes than their fellow citizens.
  • Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry. With offices in 87 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.