New Watershed Survey by Plymouth State and UNH Investigators Shows New Hampshire Residents Willing to Pay Higher Fees to Improve Water Quality

March 19th, 2014 by blyndes

 

PLYMOUTH, N.H.– A new survey shows many Granite Staters and residents of the Piscataqua Watershed are concerned about the level of pollution in our water resources and would be willing to pay higher fees to ensure water quality is improved. The report from researchers at Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment and the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) at the University of New Hampshire, “New Hampshire’s Citizens Value and Use Water in Many Ways: A Preliminary Report of the New Hampshire and Piscataqua Region Water and Watershed Survey,” was compiled from more than 600 responses from randomly sampled New Hampshire residents throughout the State and Maine residents living in the Piscataqua Region.  Respondents answered questions about water resource use and value.

Big Squam Lake, N.H. from Mt. Morgan. Photo credit: Jonathon Loos

 The survey, led by Shannon Rogers, Assistant Professor at PSU, and Jill Farrell, Community Impact Manager from PREP, indicate that 90 percent of New Hampshire respondents are concerned with the level of pollution in local streams, rivers, lakes, and bays; 80 percent understand the connection between clean water resources and economic stability of their community and 70 percent agree that they would be willing to pay higher water and sewer fees to improve the cleanliness of the lakes, rivers, streams, and bays in their community. 

“These findings indicate that New Hampshire residents understand the importance of clean water in our state,” said Rogers. “The fact that such a high percentage of people are willing to pay more to protect surface water quality is an important finding to water resource managers.” 

The survey also shows that 58 percent of New Hampshire residents realize their own actions on their property can have an impact on overall water in the community, and 83 percent agree that they would be willing to take action to reduce storm water pollution, especially if it would help reduce water and sewer bills.  

The authors of the report hope the results are utilized by researchers, resource managers, municipal decision-makers, educators and local, state and federal regulators. 

“It is our hope that this survey will serve as a stepping-stone to further investigation and implementation of actions,” said Rogers and Farrell. “We will be working on several initiatives, including outreach/education, indicators, and geographic visualization of select results.” 

Funding for the report was provided by Plymouth State University’s College of Graduate Studies and the Center for the Environment, and NH EPSCoR’s Ecosystems and Society Project supported by the National Science Foundation. Funding was provided by PREP as well.  PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the University of New Hampshire School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering.

Specific findings for the oversample of the PREP region, which includes 10 Maine communities, are contained in the report as well. The complete report and survey can be found at:

https://www.plymouth.edu/center-for-the-environment/files/2013/01/Water-Survey-Report-March-2014.pdf

An executive summary is also available:  https://www.plymouth.edu/center-for-the-environment/files/2013/01/Water-Survey-Report-Exec-Summary-March-2014.pdf                                                                                              

For more information about this release, contact PSU Media Relations Mgr. Bruce Lyndes at 603-535-2775.

 

In the News

Example Image

Drop-in curling offered in October

PLYMOUTH — The days are getting shorter, the nights are growing colder, winter is coming, which means get all the curling in while there’s still time. The Plymouth State University Ice Arena will be offering drop-in curling on Monday nights from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. through Oct. 13, on Oct. 20 from 9 to 11 […]

Example Image

Experts discuss eating disorders with professionals

MEREDITH — In its sixth year, Plymouth State University’s Eating Disorder Institute held the Eating Disorders Conference, where experts on eating disorders from all around the country made presentations focusing on clinical issues, education and advocacy, and diversity and integrative therapies. The conference, which took place at Church Landing on Thursday and Friday, was titled “Untangling the Web of […]

Example Image

Exchange program draws Chinese students to Pinkerton

By HUNTER McGEE Union Leader Correspondent DERRY — Fourteen Chinese students traveled to Pinkerton Academy this week to participate in an exchange program that strives to bring the two cultures together through shared experiences. The students are from Pinkerton’s sister high school, Tanggu No. 1 School in the town of Tianjin, just southwest of Beijing. […]