Water Issues in the Four State Heartland Region A by uke86868

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									                              SP 289




Water Issues in the Four
State Heartland Region:
 A Survey of Public Perceptions
   and Attitudes about Water

              Iowa
            Nebraska
             Kansas
            Missouri
                   Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region:
               A Survey of Public Perceptions and Attitudes about Water

                                Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

                                                2007




                                            Prepared by
             Lois Wright Morton, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Iowa State University
              Susan S. Brown, Ph.D., Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University
                With Jessica Leiting, Department of Sociology, Iowa State University
                  Graphic layout and formatting, Renea Miller and LaDonna Osborn

                 Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative Leadership Team
                              Gerald A. Miller, Iowa State University
                            Charles J. Barden, Kansas State University
                                 Bob Broz, University of Missouri
                             Daniel L. Devlin, Kansas State University
                                Damon Frizzell, U.S. EPA Region 7
                             Sandra S. Hodge, University of Missouri
                            Richard K. Koelsch, University of Nebraska
                               John Lawrence, Iowa State University
                            Lois Wright Morton, Iowa State University
                           Charles S. Wortmann, University of Nebraska



This project was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research,
Education, and Extension Service under agreement 2004-51130-02249, also known as The Heartland
Regional Water Coordination Initiative. The Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative is a
partnership of Iowa State University, Kansas State University, the University of Missouri and the Uni-
versity of Nebraska-Lincoln, the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service,
and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII. This survey is part of a national project
conducted by Dr. Robert Mahler, Professor of Soil and Environmental Sciences at University of Idaho
under USDA project 2004-51130-02245.


                                      Technical Report SP 289
                    Iowa State University, Department of Sociology, 303 East Hall
                                        Ames IA 50011-1070
ii — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
                    Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region:
                A Survey of Public Perceptions and Attitudes about Water
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The goal of the Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative is to build institutional partnerships

and increase the capacity of citizens, landowners, agencies, and community leaders to better address

water quality concerns. An important part of capacity building is knowledge of citizen awareness,

attitudes and willingness to act on water issues. A four-state stratified random sample survey of Mid-

western residents in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska reveals a shared concern for clean drinking

water (99%) and clean groundwater (95.7%). However, rural non-farm (36.8%) and farm (39.5%) resi-

dents have greater confidence in the quality of their ground water than those who live in Midwestern

cities and towns (19.3%). Agriculture-livestock and/or poultry operations (47.5%) and agriculture-crop

production (41%) are viewed as most responsible for existing pollution problems in rivers and lakes.

About one-third of respondents believe that local government should be most responsible for protect-

ing local water quality; another third believe it is state government’s responsibility. Farmers are most

likely to think protecting local water quality is an individual responsibility (39.7%) compared to rural

non-farm (16.1%) and residents of cities (7.7%). Residents in this four-state area indicate they are most

likely to get water quality information from their newspapers (72.5%), television (60.8%), and radio

(41.9%). Almost one-third listed their Extension service as an important source of information. Re-

spondents would most like to learn more about drinking water and human health relationships (53%),

followed by home and garden landscaping (31.3%), water conservation (26%), and environmental res-

toration (21.7%). They find this information most useful when it is available as a printed fact sheet/bul-

letin (56.8%), a media article/TV series (54.6%), or a Web site (33.8%). Over 50 percent of those aged

50 years or younger would visit a Web site.



                                                             Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — iii
iv — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
                                                            Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY..................................................................................................................... iii
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................1
DEMOGRAPHICS ...................................................................................................................................1
FINDINGS ................................................................................................................................................2
     Respondent Characteristics .................................................................................................................2
     Perceptions of Water Issues ................................................................................................................4
           Importance of Water Issues ...........................................................................................................4
     Beliefs about Water Quality ................................................................................................................6
           Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska .............................................................................................10
     Conditions Perceived to Affect Local Water Quality ........................................................................10
           Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska .............................................................................................13
     Management Decisions and Practices ...............................................................................................13
     Water Quantity ..................................................................................................................................14
     Protecting Local Waters ....................................................................................................................15
     Personal Natural Resource Ethics and Actions .................................................................................15
     Learning about Water Issues .............................................................................................................17
CONCLUSION .......................................................................................................................................24
APPENDIX A Survey Methodology ......................................................................................................25
APPENDIX B Letter of Invitation..........................................................................................................27
APPENDIX C Survey Questionnaire .....................................................................................................28


MAPS
1    The Heartland Region: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska ............................................................ viii


TABLES
1    Heartland Region Demographic Profile ..............................................................................................2




                                                                                          Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — v
                                                                        Figures

  Figure 1. Age............................................................................................................................................ 2
  Figure 2. Education .................................................................................................................................. 2
  Figure 3. Occupation................................................................................................................................ 3
  Figure 4. Where Do You Live? ................................................................................................................ 3
  Figure 5. Community Size ....................................................................................................................... 3
  Figure 6. How Long Have You Lived in Your State? .............................................................................. 4
  Figure 7. Importance of Water Issues ...................................................................................................... 4
  Figure 8. Where Do You Get Your Drinking Water? ............................................................................... 5
  Figure 9. Where Do You Get Your Drinking Water: Respondents Living Outside Cities. ...................... 5
  Figure 10. Home Water Systems.............................................................................................................. 6
  Figure 11. Do You Know What a Watershed Is? ..................................................................................... 7
  Figure 12. Do You Know What a Watershed Is (by gender)? .................................................................. 7
  Figure 13. What is the Quality of Groundwater in Your Area? ............................................................... 8
  Figure 14. What is the Quality of Surface Waters Where You Live? ...................................................... 8
  Figure 15. What is the Quality of Groundwater in Your Area? (by state) ............................................... 9
  Figure 16. What is the Quality of Surface Waters Where You Live? (by state) ...................................... 9
  Figure 17. Do Any of the Following Conditions Affect Water Quality in Your Area? .......................... 10
  Figure 18. Which are Most Responsible for Existing Pollution Problems in Rivers and Lakes
             in Your State? (by state) (check up to three answers) .......................................................... 11
  Figure 19. Which are Most Responsible for Existing Pollution Problems in Rivers and Lakes
             in Your State? (check up to three answers) .......................................................................... 12
  Figure 20. How Aware are You of the Following Factors that Affect Water Quality?........................... 13
  Figure 21. Is Water Quality a Problem Where You Live? ..................................................................... 14
  Figure 22. Is Water Quantity a Problem Where You Live? (by state) ................................................... 14
  Figure 23. Who Should Be Most Responsible for Protecting Local Water Quality? ............................ 15
  Figure 24. Who Should Be Most Responsible for Protecting Local Water Quality? (by residence) ..... 16
  Figure 25. How Well is Each Group Fulfilling Their Responsibility for Protecting Local
             Water Quality? ..................................................................................................................... 16
  Figure 26. Opinion of Local Government Emphasis on Environment .................................................. 17
  Figure 27. What Resulted in Changes-of-Mind on Environmental Issues?........................................... 18
  Figure 28. Efforts to Conserve Water or Preserve Water Quality? ........................................................ 18
  Figure 29. Efforts to Conserve Water or Preserve Water Quality (by state) .......................................... 19
  Figure 30. Have You Participated in the Following Activities?............................................................. 19
  Figure 31. Source of Water Quality Information ................................................................................... 20
  Figure 32. Sources of Water Quality Information (by state).................................................................. 20

vi — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
Figure 33. Would You Visit a Web site for Information and Tips on Water Quality Issues? (by age) ... 21
Figure 34. Would You Visit a Web site for Information and Tips on Water Quality Issues?
           (by occupation) .................................................................................................................... 21
Figure 35. Would You Like to Learn More About Any of the Following? ............................................ 22
Figure 36. Learning Opportunities Likely to be Taken Advantage of by Respondents ......................... 23




                                                                                    Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — vii
  Map 1. The Heartland Region: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska   Thanks to Hollis Mehl, Environmental
                                                                  Services Division, US EPA Region 7




viii — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
INTRODUCTION                                             people include Omaha (409,416) and Lincoln
The goal of the Heartland Regional Water Coor-           (236,146), Nebraska; Des Moines (194,311),
dination Initiative is to build institutional partner-   Cedar Rapids (122,206), and the Quad Cities
ships and increase the capacity of citizens, land-       (Bettendorf and Davenport on Iowa side; Moline
owners, agencies and community leaders to better         and Rock Island in Illinois); Wichita (353,823)
address water quality concerns. An important             and Topeka (121,809), Kansas; and St. Louis
part of capacity building is the creation of com-        (343,279), Springfield (150,704), and Indepen-
mon knowledge and understandings. One kind of            dence (111,023), Missouri. The median age in the
knowledge that educators, technicians, scientists,       Heartland ranges from 35.2 to almost 37 years
and citizen leaders need is a sense of the percep-       (Table 1). Although dominated by a large Cauca-
tions, beliefs and viewpoints of those they wish         sian population, the minority population is grow-
to engage in water discussions and decisions. It         ing with Missouri having the highest proportion at
is attitudes and beliefs in combination with social      almost 14 percent. Per capita incomes range from
connections and social pressures that motivate           $30,560 (Iowa) to $31,339 (Nebraska).
citizen actions to protect land and water resources.
                                                         The four Heartland states rank in the top 10
In this technical report we summarize findings           agricultural producers of cattle, swine, poultry,
of a four-state stratified random sample survey          soybeans, corn, wheat, milo, cotton and rice. The
of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska citizen          Heartland Region drains into two of the nation’s
perceptions and attitudes about water (see Ap-           largest rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi.
pendix A for details on methodology). This survey        The rivers, underground aquifers, wetlands, and
was conducted by Dr. Robert Mahler, Professor of         lakes within this area are a critical natural re-
Soil and Environmental Sciences at University of         source base providing public and private water
Idaho as a USDA national project. It was mailed          supplies as well as recreational and natural beauty.
to 1,925 randomly selected residents in these four       Regional annual rainfall ranges 18-38 inches.
states in spring 2006; 1,042 surveys were returned       Soils, topographies, and climate are well suited
(54 percent). Findings were analyzed and pre-            to agricultural production including cropland and
pared by Iowa State University and the University        animal husbandry. The Midwestern Heartland is
of Idaho.                                                often called the Breadbasket of the United States.

The report begins with a summary of the demo-            The agricultural base of the four-state region
graphic and agricultural characteristics of the          contains almost 155 million acres of farmland and
four-state region. Then findings from the survey         306,500 farms. This represents 68 to 93 percent
are graphically displayed with text highlighting         of the land in each state (Table 1). About 73.5 mil-
key points from each question. Lastly, we make           lion acres are in cropland. The market value of the
observations about these findings and discuss their      agricultural sector exceeds 49 billion dollars. In
relevance to increasing citizen and stakeholder          addition to agriculture, the Heartland region has
involvement in land use and water management             significant industries in manufacturing, wholesale
decisions.                                               and retail trade, health care, and construction.

DEMOGRAPHICS
The Heartland Region is home to over 13 mil-
lion people. The largest metropolitan area within
this region is Kansas City which straddles the
Missouri River between the states of Kansas and
Missouri, and contains over 750,000 people.
Other cities in the region with more than 100,000
                                                                 Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
     Table 1. Heartland Region Demographic Profile
                                                      Iowa                  Kansas                 Missouri            Nebraska
     Population (U.S. Census Bureau             2,982,085                  2,764,075               5,842,713           1,768,331
     population estimate 2006)
     Median age                                 36.6 years                35.2 years               36.1 years          35.3 years
     Race/ethnicity
        Percent White                                  94.9                    87.9                   86.1                90.9
        Percent Black/African                           2.1                      5.9                  11.4                 4.1
        American
        Percent American Indian                       <1.0                       1.0                  <1.0                <1.0
        Percent Asian                                 <1.0                       1.8                    1.1                1.3
        Percent Hispanic/Latino                         2.8                      7.0                    2.1                5.5
     Per capita income 2004                      $31,058                    $30,811                 $30,608             $31,339
     Percent land in farms                             88.7                    90.2                   67.9                93.3
     Percent total cropland                            75.6                    40.2                   43.9                37.8
     Agricultural sector output 2005           $17,316,261                $11,019,557             $7,571,694          $13,399,653
     (crops and livestock) ($1,000)



                                                                                                               FINDINGS

                                     15.7%                                                                     Respondent Charac-
    24.0%
                                                                                                               teristics
                                                                  23.0%
                                                                                                               Thirty-seven percent
                                                                           </ = 30                             of survey respondents
                                                                           30-40
                                                                           40-50
                                                                                                               are aged 50 or young-
                                                                           50-60                               er. Two age groups re-
                                                               5.1%        60-70
                20.1%                          12.2%                       >/ = 70
                                                                                                               sponded about equally,
                                                                                                               24 percent are aged 50
   Figure 1. Age
                                                                                                               to 60; and 23 percent
                                                                                                               are over the age of 70.
                             14.8%                                                                              One fifth of the re-
                                                        6.9%
                                                                                                                spondents are aged 60
    23.1%
                                                                                                                to 70 years old (Fig-
                                                                            23.1%
                                                                                                                ure 1). Younger ages
                                                                                     <High School               are a smaller portion
                                                                                     High School Graduate       of responses with
                                                                                     Some College
                                                                                                                almost 16 percent
                                                                                     College Graduate
                                                                                     Advanced College Degree    aged 40 to 50 years;
                                     32.1%                                                                      12.2 percent aged 30
   Figure 2. Education                                                                                          to 40; and 5.1 percent
 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
under the age of 30. It
                                                       Retired                                    29.1
should be noted that
                           Manufacturing/construction/
our respondents are                     transportation                               12.9
older on average than
                                                          Other                      12.7
the population in this
region. Thus respons-                 Management/retail
                                        business/sales                             9.1
es are more likely
                                                    Education                5.4
to reflect attitudes
of the older citizens      Technology/communication                          5.3
rather than younger                 Farm/ranch/fishing/
ones. Respondents          fish farming/forest products                      4.6
were about 65 percent                             Government             3.3
male and 35 percent                         Food service/
female.                                recreation/tourism               2.0

                                            Service sector             0.0
Respondents are well
educated. Over 93                                      Student         0.0
percent have com-
                                                                   0                     20               40                   60            80
pleted high school,
including 70 percent                                                                          Percent
who have continued                                                  (15.8% filled out wrong or missing data)

on with post-second-      Figure 3. Occupation
ary education (Figure
2).
                           Inside Town or City                                                               Outside City (rural non-farm)
                                  69.8%                                                                                 22.6%
Almost a third (29.1
percent) of the re-
spondents are retired
(Figure 3). Other
occupations include
manufacturing/con-
struction/transporta-                                                                                          Farm
tion (12.9 percent),                                                                                           7.6%

management/retail         Figure 4. Where Do You Live?
business/sales (9.1
percent); education
(5.4 percent), tech-                  Less then 3,500 people                                             More than 100,000 people
                                                                                                                  25.0%
                                              26.3%
nology/communica-
tion (5.3 percent),
farm/ranch/fish-
ing/fish farming/for-
est production (4.6
percent), government      3,500 to 7,000 people
                                  11.6%
(3.3 percent), and                                                                                                25,000 to 100,000 people
                                                   7,000 to 25,000 people                                                  21.7%
food service/rec-                                          15.4%
reation/tourism (2
                          Figure 5. Community Size
percent).
                                                                                     Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
   Almost 70 percent of respondents live inside town                                A vast majority (60.1 percent) of respondents
   or city limits (Figure 4). Rural non-farm residents                              have lived in their state all their life (Figure 6).
   comprise 22.6 percent and rural farm 7.6 percent.                                Almost one-third have lived in the Heartland
   Although a large portion of respondents said they                                region state where they currently reside more than
   lived “inside city limits,” only one quarter live                                ten years but not their whole life. Less than 4 per-
   in communities with more than 100,000 people                                     cent have moved to this state in the last five years.
   (Figure 5). Over half live in small communities                                  This suggests many of the respondents have an
   with less than 25,000 people. More than a quarter                                historical and deep knowledge about their com-
   live in communities under 3,500 people.                                          munity and region.
                                                                     More than 10 years,
                                                                      but not all my life                    Perceptions of Water Issues
                                                                           31.7%


                                                                                                             Importance of Water Issues
                                                                                                             Respondents were given a list
                                                                                                             of water issues and asked to rate
                                                                                        5 to 9 years
                                                                                                             each according to its importance.
                                                                                            4.4%             Figure 7 reveals that almost all
                                                                               Less than 5 years             citizens of the Heartland region
          All my life
                                                                                     3.8%
                                                                                                             believe that clean drinking wa-
           60.1%
                                                                                                             ter is extremely important (82.4
   Figure 6. How Long Have You Lived in Your State?
                                                                                                             percent) or very important (16.8
                                                                                                                             82.4
        Clean drinking water         0.1 0.6               16.8
                                     0.1
                                                                                                          56.7
          Clean groundwater           1.5 2.6                                       39.0
                                     0.2
        Water for household/                                                                              55.8
                                      1.3 2.5                                         40.3
               private sector
                                     0.1
                                                                                             45.4
      Clean rivers and lakes               0.9                                                 48.7
                                                 5.0
                                 0.1
                                                                                    37.4
    Water for municipal use/                                                                   49.2
              water systems                  6.1
                                                6.9
                                     0.4                                                                                  Extremely Important
                                                                             33.3
    Water for aquatic habitat                                                                46.7                         Very Important
                                                       6.112.8
                                      1.2                                                                                 No Opinion
                                                                            32.3
         Water for agriculture                                                                     50.3                   Somewhat Important
                                                  5.8
                                     1.5                10.2                                                              Not Important
                                                                 20.7
             Water for power                                                                44.6
                 generation                              14.3 17.6
                                       2.8
                                                           17.7
        Water for commerce/                                                                        50.2
                    industry                              14.9 16.2
                                     1.1
                                                          15.2
                                                                                     39.1
         Water for recreation                                           12.7 27.9
                                            5.1

                                 0                         20                      40                      60           80            100
                                                                                           Percent
   Figure 7. Importance of Water Issues

 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
                                                      4.5%
                                                             0.6%

                                                                      16.7%




                                                                       6.6%
          70.6%
                                                               1.0%        Well
                                                                           Community well system
                                                                           River, stream, pond, or lake
                                                                           City water system
                                                                           Purchase bottled water
                                                                           I don't know

         Figure 8. Where Do You Get Your Drinking Water?
                                                         14.8%
                                                                    1.9%
          52.0%

                                                                        28.0%




                                                                    Well
                                         0.7% 2.6%
                                                                    Community well system
                                                                    River, stream, pond, or lake
                                                                    City water system
                                                                    Purchase bottled water
                                                                    I don't know
         Figure 9. Where Do You Get Your Drinking Water: Respondents Living Outside Cities.

percent). This is followed by almost 96 percent        considered very important (44.6 and 50.2 percent)
saying clean ground water is extremely important       with a smaller portion of respondents giving them
(56.7 percent) or very important (39 percent).         the highest value, extremely important. Lastly
Water for households and the private sector are        slightly over 54 percent think that water for recre-
similarly valued (55.8 percent extremely impor-        ation is either extremely important (15.2 percent)
tant; 40.3 percent very important). Most respon-       or very important (39.1 percent).
dents rated clean rivers and lakes as extremely
important (45.4 percent) or very important (48.7       As illustrated in Figure 7, drinking water is highly
percent). While almost fifty percent of the respon-    valued by all respondents. Over 70 percent obtain
dents thought that municipal water systems were        their water from a city water system (Figure 8).
very important, they were less likely to give them     About 23 percent depend on either a private well
the highest value of extremely important (37.4         (16.7 percent) or a community well system (6.6
percent). Similarly water for aquatic habitat and      percent). Almost 67 percent of respondents who
for agriculture were considered very important         live outside city boundaries (Figure 9) obtain their
(46.7 percent and 50.3 percent respectively) but       drinking water from a private well (52 percent)
only one-third assigned an extremely important         or community well system (14.8 percent). Less
value to them (33.3 and 32.3 respectively). Water      than one-third (28 percent) are connected to a city
for power generation and commerce/industry are         water system.

                                                                Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
          I feel my home drinking
                                                                                                             89.2
              water is safe to drink

            I am satisfied with my
                                                                                            68.0
                   drinking water

          I often use bottled water
                                                                     35.3
              for drinking purposes


               I have a water filter                        26.6


                    I have a water
                                                          25.7
                 treatment system


         I never buy bottled water                       23.9


        I am not satisfied with my
                                                  18.3
            current drinking water

    I purchase 5 gallon containers
                                           3.6
                 of drinking water

     My drinking water is separate
                                           3.5
     from my water supply system

                                       0          20                  40              60            80              100
                                                                            Percent
   Figure 10. Home Water Systems (Check all that apply.)

                                                                   Perceptions of ground and surface water quality
   Almost 90 percent of all respondents believe their              vary by where a respondent lives (Figures 13-16).
   home drinking water is safe to drink (Figure 10).               About forty percent of those who farm believe
   Sixty-eight percent are satisfied with their drink-             that the quality of groundwater in their area is
   ing water. A little more than 35 percent often use              good or excellent (Figure 13). Rural non-farm
   bottled water for drinking. About a quarter have a              residents are also quite confident of their ground-
   water filter system or a water treatment system.                water quality (36.8 percent) compared to only
                                                                   19.3 percent of respondents living inside city lim-
   Beliefs about Water Quality                                     its who believe the quality of groundwater in their
   A watershed is a region or area of land that drains             area to be good or excellent. A high proportion of
   into a body of water such as a stream, lake, wet-               those living inside cities (35.7 percent) admit to
   land, or river. About 68 percent of respondents in-             simply not knowing what their ground water qual-
   dicate they know what a watershed is (Figure 11).               ity is. About 21 percent of rural, non-farm respon-
   Those who farm are most likely to claim to know                 dents report not knowing.
   what a watershed is (89.3 percent); those living
   inside city boundaries less often report knowing                Compared to groundwater quality knowledge,
   what a watershed is (65.6 percent). Gender dif-                 more respondents are willing to offer an assess-
   ferences are striking (Figure 12). Almost seventy-              ment of surface water quality where they live
   nine percent of all men report knowing what a                   (Figure 14). Farmers show less confidence in their
   watershed is; less than half (47.3 percent) women               surface waters than their groundwater quality with
   report they know.                                               17.1 percent reporting surface waters to be good
                                                                   or excellent, 24.3 reporting as good and improv-

 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
          100

                                                                                                      89.3



           80

                                                                         69.2
                     67.7
                                              65.6

           60
Percent




           40




           20




            0
                Total Population       Inside Town or City            Outside City                 Farm
          100                                                       (rural non-farm)
Figure 11. Do You Know What a Watershed Is?



                                                             78.9
           80


                            67.7


           60
Percent




                                                                                               47.3


           40




           20




            0
                    Total Population                         Male                             Female
Figure 12. Do You Know What a Watershed Is (by gender)?


                                                                    Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
             100




              80
                                                                                              Inside Town or City
                                                                                              Outside City (rural non-farm)
                                                                                              Farm
              60                                                                              Total Population
   Percent




                       39.5
                      36.8




                                                                                                              35.7
              40




                                                                                                                        30.4
                             24.3




                                                        21.1




                                                                                                                 20.9
                   19.3




                                                      17.7




                                                                       17.1
                                                    14.8
              20
                                                                    13.7


                                                                    13.3
                                            13.2


                                                   13.0
                                    11.6




                                                                   10.9
                                           10.2




                                                                                              6.8
                                                                                             6.3


                                                                                             6.3




                                                                                                                     5.3
                                       5.0




                                                                                            4.0
                                                                                1.8

                                                                               0.7
                                                                               0.5

                                                                               0.0
               0
                    Good or         Good, and       Good, but        Fair       Poor, but      Poor               No
                    excellent       improving      deteriorating               improving                     opinion/don't
                                                                                                                 know
   Figure 13. What is the Quality of Groundwater in Your Area?
             100




              80


                                                                                             Inside Town or City
                                                                                             Outside City (rural non-farm)
              60                                                                             Farm
                                                                                             Total Population
   Percent




              40
                                                                        31.3


                                                                       29.4
                                                                      27.9
                                          24.3




                                                                   22.9
                                                       22.1
                                                      21.4
                                                     19.5
                                      17.7




                                                    17.5
                          17.1




                                     15.8




                                                                                              15.5




              20
                                    14.1




                                                                                                      13.4

                                                                                                                  13.3


                                                                                                                  12.5
                                                                                            11.3




                                                                                                                10.8
                     7.8




                                                                                                              7.1
                             6.4




                                                                                                 5.7
                   5.0




                                                                                 3.4


                                                                                3.0
                                                                                2.5
                                                                               1.4




               0
                    Good or         Good, and       Good, but        Fair       Poor, but      Poor               No
                    excellent       improving      deteriorating               improving                     opinion/don't
                                                                                                                 know
   Figure 14. What is the Quality of Surface Waters Where You Live?

 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
          100




           80                                                                                      Iowa
                                                                                                   Kansas
                                                                                                   Missouri
                                                                                                   Nebraska
           60                                                                                      Total Population
Percent




                                                                                                                 38.5
           40
                         32.7




                                                                                                             31.7

                                                                                                                        30.4
                28.3




                                                                                                          27.1
                       24.7
                              24.3




                                                                   23.1




                                                                                                                   19.8
                                                    17.8
                                                   16.8


           20                                     14.8
                                                  14.1




                                                                          13.3
                                                 12.4
                                        12.3




                                                                 11.9
                                       11.9




                                                                         11.4
                  10.6




                                      10.2




                                                                        9.4
                                     8.8




                                                                                                8.7
                                     8.2




                                                                                               6.4
                                                                                               6.3
                                                                                              6.0
                                                                                              5.0
                                                                                  1.2
                                                                                 1.0

                                                                                 0.7
                                                                                 0.4

                                                                                 0.0
            0
                 Good or             Good, and    Good, but             Fair      Poor, but     Poor          No
                 excellent           improving   deteriorating                   improving               opinion/don't
                                                                                                             know
Figure 15. What is the Quality of Groundwater in Your Area?
          100




           80


                                                                                                       Iowa
                                                                                                       Kansas
           60
                                                                                                       Missouri
Percent




                                                                                                       Nebraska
                                                                                                       Total Population

           40
                                                                     33.0
                                                                    30.7


                                                                   29.4
                                                                  28.1
                                                         26.6




                                                                 26.6
                                                      21.7
                                                    19.5
                                          18.5
                                         16.8
                                        15.8
                                        15.8




                                                                                                 15.6




                                                                                                             15.6
                                                 15.1




                                                                                                15.0




           20
                                                 14.2




                                                                                               13.4
                                                                                               12.5




                                                                                                           12.5
                                                                                                           12.5
                                                                                                          11.3
                                                                                                          11.0
                                                                                              10.8
                                     10.1
                  7.9
                 6.7
                 6.7


                 6.4
                5.2




                                                                                   3.9
                                                                                   3.9
                                                                                  3.1
                                                                                  3.0
                                                                                 1.0




            0
                 Good or             Good, and    Good, but             Fair      Poor, but     Poor          No
                 excellent           improving   deteriorating                   improving               opinion/don't
                                                                                                             know

Figure 16. What is the Quality of Surface Waters Where You Live?
                                                              Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
   ing, 21.4 percent saying it is good but deteriorat-                     their ground water quality is good or excellent.
   ing, and 22.9 reporting it as fair. Respondents                         Kansas respondents are likely to rate their ground
   inside city boundaries give their surface water                         water as fair (23.1 percent) or good, but deterio-
   quality even lower marks with almost one-third                          rating (16.8 percent). About 39 percent of Mis-
   believing it to be fair, 17.5 percent reporting good,                   souri respondents have no opinion or don’t know
   but deteriorating, and 14.1 percent good and                            what their ground water quality is. In contrast,
   improving. Only 5 percent of those living inside                        only about 20 percent of Nebraska residents admit
   towns or cities think their surface waters are good                     to not knowing or not having an opinion.
   or excellent. Less than 6 percent of farmers be-
   lieve their surface waters are poor. However, 15.5                      Respondents from all states are most likely to
   percent of those living in towns and cities and                         rate their surface water quality as fair (33 percent
   11.3 percent of those living outside town but not                       Kansas; 30.7 percent Iowa; 28.1 percent Missouri;
   farming think the quality of their surface water is                     26.6 percent Nebraska) or poor (15.6 percent
   poor.                                                                   Kansas; 15 percent Iowa; 12.5 percent Missouri;
                                                                           and 10.8 percent Nebraska) (Figure 16). Less
   Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska                                        than 7 percent think their surface waters are good
   Perceptions of surface and ground water quality                         or excellent (7.9 percent Nebraska; 6.7 percent
   also vary by state within the Heartland Region                          Kansas; 6.7 percent Iowa; 5.2 percent Missouri).
   (Figures 15 and 16). Nebraska respondents are                           Technical reports based on this survey are avail-
   most likely to rate their groundwater quality as                        able that summarize individual state’s responses
   good or excellent (32.7 percent) followed by Iowa                       to all questions (http://heartlandwq.iastate.edu).
   respondents (28.3 percent) (Figure 15). Kansas
   respondents are least likely to rate their ground-                      Conditions Perceived to Affect Local Water
   water quality as good or excellent (10.6 percent);                      Quality
   and 24.7 percent of Missouri respondents think                          Fertilizers and nitrates are suspected (35.4 per-
                                           11.7                   35.4
        Fertilizer/Nitrates                                     32.4
                                   4.2          16.4
                                         9.0             25.6
                 Minerals                                                42.3
                                   4.0            19.1
                                         8.0                    32.5
               Pesticides                                           38.3
                                   5.1 5.2      16.1
                                                      24.2
            Animal waste                                             40.2
                                      6.3             24.1
                                   5.1            18.8                                                Know It Is A Problem
    High bacteria counts                                                    46.2
                                                    22.1                                              Suspect It Is A Problem
                                   4.5 7.8      16.5
                      Iron                                                      49.8                  Don't Know
                                                     23.5
                                   4.05.6       16.8                                                  Suspect It Is Not A Problem
           Heavy metals                                                         50.1                  Know It Is Not A Problem
                                      5.9            23.2
                                   4.0         14.5
     Petroleum products                                              40.1
                                                             30.7
                                   3.5 10.6 18.5
          Septic systems                                                  44.6
                                        7.0              26.4
      Product and waste           3.3 6.9
                                                                     39.4
       water from mining                             21.6 28.9
                                  1.9     11.0
        Pharmaceuticals                                                          51.3
                                        8.3               27.5
                              0                 20                  40                 60        80             100
                                                          Percent
   Figure 17. Do Any of the Following Conditions Affect Water Quality in Your Area?

0 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
                                                                        50.9                                    lem are min-
   Agriculture-livestock
                  and/or
                                                                  43.1                                          erals (9 per-
                                                                 40.8
     poultry operations                                                                                         cent known
                                                                      47.5
                                                                                                                problem; 25.6
                                                                 45.0
       Agriculture-crop                                  34.2                                                   percent sus-
            production                                      38.2                                                pected) and
                                                              41.3                                              animal waste
                                                           35.9                                                 (5.2 percent
          Wastes from                                       37.8
          urban areas                                               46.1                                        known prob-
                                                           36.4                                                 lem; 24.2 per-
                                                          34.3                                                  cent suspected
               Industry                                30.2                                                     problem).
                                                    26.3
                                                         32.9                                                   High bac-
                                                  24.9                                                          teria counts
     Urban stormwater                           22.2                                                            (5.1 percent
                runoff                          22.4
                                                                                                                known prob-
                                                 23.7
                                                                                                                lem; 18.8
                                           17.9
   Erosion from roads                             25.3                                                          percent sus-
   and/or construction                              29.0                                                        pected) and
                                               20.6
                                                                                                                septic systems
                                            18.0                                                                (3.5 per-
                                          16.0
               Landfills
                                          15.8                                                                  cent known
                                           17.1                                                                 problem;
                                           17.3                                                                 18.5 percent
 Wastewater treatment                   13.3                                                                    suspected) are
                plants                            23.7
                                          16.4                                                                  also condi-
                                        12.4                                                                    tions thought
                                                                        Inside Town or City
        Septic systems
                                             19.1
                                                                        Outside City (rural non-farm)
                                                                                                                to contrib-
                                            18.4                                                                ute to water
                                         13.9                           Farm
                                                                        Total Population                        quality prob-
                               2.5
                                4.0                                                                             lems where
               Forestry
                                4.0                                                                             respondents
                               2.8
                                                                                                                live. From
                               1.7                                                                              one-third to
                                2.7
          Wild animals
                                  5.3                                                                           over half say
                                2.2                                                                             they don’t
                           0               20               40                 60           80            100
                                                                                                                know whether
                                                                   Percent
                                                                                                                any of these
                                                                                                                conditions are
Figure 18. Which are Most Responsible for Existing Pollution Problems in Rivers and Lakes in
Your State? (check up to three answers)
                                                                                                                affecting their
                                                                                                                water quality.
cent) or known (11.7 percent) to affect water qual-
ity in the Heartland Region (Figure 17). A similar
                                                                       Respondents were asked to identify the top three
proportion of respondents believe that pesticides
                                                                       sectors or infrastructures that were most respon-
are a known problem (8 percent) or suspected
                                                                       sible in their state for existing pollution to their
problem (32.5 percent). Other conditions believed
                                                                       rivers and lakes (Figures 18 and 19). There is
by more than a third of respondents to be a prob-
                                                                       agreement among residents who live on farm, off-
                                                                                Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
                                                                                        63.0                         erations as pollu-
      Agriculture-livestock                                          42.6
                     and/or                                 33.2                                                     tion sources, those
        poultry operations                                                        56.9                               who farm also ac-
                                                                          47.5
                                                                                                                     knowledge this is a
                                                                                         63.4
          Agriculture-crop                                      38.0                                                 problem (40.8 per-
                                              16.4
               production                                                          58.4                              cent). Agriculture
                                                                    41.3                                             crop production is
                                                     24.9                                                            also considered to
             Wastes from                                        38.9
             urban areas
                                                                   42.6                                              be responsible for
                                                                38.3
                                                               36.4                                                  existing pollution
                                                        30.0                                                         problems in state
                                                       28.7
                  Industry                                         39.6                                              lakes and rivers
                                                        29.7                                                         (45 percent of
                                                          32.9
                                                  21.3
                                                                                                                     those living inside
        Urban stormwater                             25.5                                                            cities, 38.2 percent
                                                       27.3
                   runoff                       18.7                                                                 farmers, and 34.2
                                                    23.7                                                             percent rural non-
                                              15.8
                                                 19.4                                                                farm residents).
       Erosion from roads
       and/or construction                   13.9
                                                        29.0                                Iowa                     Farmers are more
                                                  20.6                                      Kansas                   likely (46.1 per-
                                           11.4                                             Missouri                 cent) than town/
                                               17.1                                         Nebraska
                  Landfills                       21.5                                                               city (35.9 percent)
                                               17.2                                         Total Population
                                               17.1
                                                                                                                     or rural non-farm
                                             14.3                                                                    (37.8 percent)
    Wastewater treatment                      16.2                                                                   to believe urban
                                             14.5
                   plants                          22.5                                                              wastes are major
                                              16.4
                                                                                                                     existing sources
                                          10.3
                                         7.9                                                                         of pollution. Over
           Septic systems                          23.1                                                              thirty percent of all
                                         9.1
                                             13.9                                                                    respondents think
                                   1.8                                                                               that industry con-
                                  0.0
                  Forestry             6.4                                                                           tributes to exist-
                                  1.0
                                    2.8                                                                              ing pollution with
                                    2.9                                                                              those living inside
                                  1.4                                                                                cities (34.3 per-
             Wild animals          2.2
                                   1.9                                                                               cent) more likely
                                   2.2
                                                                                                                     to identify it as a
                              0                20              40                  60            80            100   source than those
                                                                     Percent                                         who farm (26.3).
   Figure 19. Which are Most Responsible for Existing Pollution Problems in Rivers and
   Lakes in Your State? (check up to three answers)                                                              Over 24 percent
                                                                                                                 perceive that
   farm but outside towns and cities, and inside city
                                                                                 urban storm water runoff is responsible for pol-
   boundaries that two of the top three are agricultur-
                                                                                 lution. Farmers (29 percent) are more likely than
   ally based (Figure 18). While those living inside
                                                                                 other respondents to cite erosion from roads and
   towns and cities (50.9 percent) are more likely to
                                                                                 construction as pollution sources. Farmers (23.7
   point to agriculture-livestock and/or poultry op-
                                                                                 percent) are also more likely to think that waste-
 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
          Drinking water and                              32.4
                                                                              55.2
               human health            12.4
                                              19.6
         Water conservation                                                        57.7
                                                   22.7
       Nutrient and pesticide               16.7
                                                                     45.8
                management                                   37.5
               Animal waste                 16.0
                                                                   42.7
               management                                         41.4
                                          15.6                                                    Very Aware
           Agricultural water
                                                                          51.1                    Somewhat Aware
               management                                 33.4
                                                                                                  Unaware
    Pollution prevention and              14.6
                                                                            51.6
                 assessment                               33.8
                                      11.7
   Environmental restoration                                              51.0
                                                             37.2
                                     10.1
    Watershed management                                            43.8
                                                                     46.1
           Water policy and         9.1
                                                                    44.5
                economics                                            46.4

                                0            20              40                    60        80            100
                                                                    Percent

  Figure 20. How Aware are You of the Following Factors that Affect Water Quality?

water treatment plants are responsible for existing         Missouri respondents are most likely to identify
pollution. Non-city residents, both farmers (18.4           urban and population sources of pollution: waste
percent) and rural non-farm (19.1 percent), be-             from urban areas (42.6 percent), industry (39.6
lieve that septic systems are sources of pollution.         percent), urban storm water runoff (27.3 percent),
                                                            erosion from roads and/or construction (29 per-
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska                            cent), landfills (21.5 percent) and septic systems
Perceived differences in responsibility for existing        (23.1 percent). Almost a quarter of Nebraska
pollution by state are most apparent in compari-            respondents (22.5 percent) think that waste water
sons of agriculture-livestock and agriculture-crop          treatment plants are most responsible in their
production (Figure 19). Over sixty-three percent            state.
of Iowa respondents rate both of these as most
responsible for existing pollution in Iowa. A high          Management Decisions and Practices
proportion of Nebraska respondents also rank                There are a number of social, technical, and
these two sources as highly responsible for pol-            economic factors that can be used to mitigate and
lution in Nebraska (58.4 percent agriculture-crop           reduce water pollution levels (Figure 20). Re-
production and 56.9 percent agriculture-livestock           spondents report being most aware of factors that
operations). Although smaller proportions of Kan-           relate to drinking water and human health (32.4
sas (42.6 percent livestock production; 38 per-             percent). Smaller proportions report knowledge of
cent crop production) and Missouri (33.2 percent            water conservation (19.6 percent) and agricultural
livestock and 16.4 percent) respondents rank these          management strategies (nutrient and pesticide
as most responsible, they are still thought to be           management 16.7 percent; animal waste manage-
important contributors of pollution in those states.        ment 16 percent; agriculture waste management
                                                                     Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
   15.6 percent). Between one third and nearly                                           issues across the United States. Most of the Heart-
   one-half of respondents say they are “unaware” of                                     land Region has abundant water resources with
   factors not related to drinking water and human                                       water quantity the most serious issue in the west.
   health, and conservation.                                                             However, in recent years drought and population
                                                                                         growth in urban areas have affected the quantity
   Water Quantity                                                                        of water available for industry, agriculture, recre-
   Water shortages and restrictions are increasingly                                     ation and human consumption. About 43 percent
                                                                            Definitely
                                                                             8.2%
                                   Probably
                                    15.7%


                                                                                                                                     No
                                                                                                                                    42.7%




              I don't know
                 11.3%



                                                       Probably not
                                                          22.2%
   Figure 21. Is Water Quality a Problem Where You Live?


            100




             80


                                                                                                                            Iowa
                                                                                                                            Kansas
             60
                                                                                                                            Missouri
                    51.6

                                  50.9




                                                                                                                            Nebraska
  Percent




                                                                                                                            Total Population
                                                42.7




             40
                           31.7

                                         27.9




                                                                     27.8




                                                                                                                    25.5
                                                                 22.2
                                                                 22.1
                                                         20.5

                                                                20.4




                                                                                                                18.9



                                                                                                             15.7
                                                                                     15.0




             20
                                                                                                                                              13.7
                                                                                                            13.4




                                                                                                                                 12.2
                                                                                  11.3
                                                                                  10.8
                                                                                 9.8
                                                                                 9.4




                                                                                                      8.7




                                                                                                                                                     8.2
                                                                                                                                        5.5
                                                                                                                           4.3




              0
                    No              Probably not      I don't know                                          Probably         Definitely
   Figure 22. Is Water Quantity a Problem Where You Live?

 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
of all respondents do not think water quantity         ment at either the local (17.8 percent), state (28.8
issues are a problem where they live (Figure 21).      percent) or federal (4.1 percent) level.
However almost one-quarter believe it is defi-
nitely (8.2 percent) or probably (15.7 percent) a      It is notable that respondents in general do not
concern.                                               know if each level of government, community,
                                                       or individual citizens is fulfilling its responsibili-
There are differences among the four Heartland         ties to protect water (Figure 25). Just over one-
Region states in their perception of water quantity    third believe that their local county, city or town
as a problem. As expected, respondents living in       government is fulfilling their responsibilities
the two western-most states in this region, Ne-        very well. Similarly, almost one-third think their
braska and Kansas, express beliefs that it is defi-    community is meeting its responsibilities. About
nitely (13.7 percent and 12.2 percent) or probably     42 percent believe their local government does
(25.5 percent and 18.9 percent) a problem (Figure      not have enough emphasis on the environment
22). Iowa respondents are most likely to think it      (Figure 26). Less than 4 percent think there is too
is not a problem followed closely by Missouri          much emphasis.
respondents.
                                                       Personal Natural Resource Ethics and Actions
Protecting Local Waters                                Viewpoints on the environment and use of natural
When asked who should be most responsible for          resources vary from protectionist stances to full
protecting local water quality, respondents are        development and use of the natural resource base.
split between state government (35.5 percent) and      Heartland respondents tend to strike a balance
their own county, city or town government (36.5)       between these two extremes with a slight bias to-
(Figure 23). A little over 12 percent think individ-   wards environmental protection (data not shown).
ual citizens should be most responsible. Almost
8 percent believe that the Federal government          Beliefs and attitudes on environmental issues
should be most responsible. Beliefs on this ques-      are influenced by a variety of exposures to new
tion differ among city/town, rural non-farm, and       information and the ethics and actions of others.
farm residents (Figure 24). Farm respondents are       Over 55 percent of Heartland respondents cite
the most likely to identify that individual citizens   news coverage as changing their mind on environ-
should be most responsible for protecting local        mental issues (Figure 27). However, social con-
waters (39.7 percent). In contrast, 7.7 percent of     nections and personal experiences are important
those living inside cities or towns believe individ-   to a large number of respondents; 50.1 percent
uals should take the most responsibility. Further,     changed their mind because of first hand observa-
farm respondents are less likely than those not liv-   tions and experiences and 41.2 percent changed
ing on a farm to assign responsibility to govern-      because of conversations with other people. Pub-
             36.5%
                                                           2.6%
                                                                   12.1%
                                                                                Federal government
                                                                                State government
                                                                                Your county, city, or town
                                                                                Other local government entity
                                                                                Individual citizens
                                                                       5.4%     Don't know

                                                                7.9%
                35.5%
Figure 23. Who Should Be Most Responsible for Protecting Local Water Quality?

                                                              Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
                                           8.8
         Federal government             6.0
                                       4.1
                                          7.9

                                                                         36.2
            State government                                              37.6
                                                                 28.8
                                                                        35.5

                                                                           39.0
    Your county, city, or town                                          34.4
                                                       17.8                                                 Inside Town or City
                                                                         36.5
                                                                                                            Outside City (rural non-farm)
                                      2.5                                                                   Farm
      Other local government           2.8                                                                  Total Population
                        entity          4.1
                                       2.6

                                          7.7
            Individual citizens                    16.1
                                                                           39.7
                                                12.1

                                        5.8
                   Don't know          3.2
                                        5.5
                                        5.4

                                  0                 20                    40               60                 80             100
                                                             Percent
   Figure 24. Who Should Be Most Responsible for Protecting Local Water Quality? (by residence)

                                                 12.3
         Federal government                                     25.8
                                                                                                     61.9


                                                             23.1
            State government                                21.9
                                                                                           55.0


                                                                          35.9                                          Very Well
    Your county, city, or town
                                                         18.9                                                           Very Poorly
                 government
                                                                                  45.3
                                                                                                                        Don't Know

                                                                    31.0
             Your community                             18.0
                                                                                         51.1


                                                   15.4
            Individual citizens                                 25.7
                                                                                                58.9


                                  0                    20                  40                   60                 80           100
                                                                  Percent
   Figure 25. How Well is Each Group Fulfilling Their Responsibility for Protecting Local Water Quality?
 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
lic meetings and                       Right amount of
volunteer activi-                         emphasis
                                                                                          No opinion/don't know
                                            27.5%
ties (16.8 per-                                                                                   26.9%
cent) and classes
(16.8 percent) are
also sources of
change. Less than
14 percent think
they changed
their mind be-
cause of financial
considerations.
Lastly, about 6                                                                         Too much emphasis
percent changed                Not enough emphasis                                             3.6%
their mind on                         41.9%
environmental         Figure 26. Opinion of Local Government Emphasis on Environment
issues because of
                                                         (24.9 percent) least likely. More Missouri (13.9
an elected official’s speech.
                                                         percent) and Iowa (13.5 percent) respondents
                                                         pumped their septic systems compared to Nebras-
Heartland Region respondents have undertaken
                                                         ka (8.1 percent) and Kansas (6.5).
a variety of efforts to preserve water quality or
conserve water (Figure 28). Actions taken vary
                                                         Respondents’ participation in water or environ-
by where they live. Those living inside cities or
                                                         mental protection groups is low--a little over 7
towns are most likely to change how often they
                                                         percent (Figure 30). Almost 4 percent are in-
water their yard (65.4 percent). Farm respondents,
                                                         volved in volunteer water quality monitoring; 2.8
many of whom are on private wells, most often
                                                         percent are master gardeners; 2.1 percent are part
report testing their drinking water (61.8 percent).
                                                         of lake or river protection groups, and 1.3 percent
Almost 45 percent of farmers changed their use of
                                                         serve on town conservation commissions.
pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals to pro-
tect water quality. However, many of those liv-          Learning about Water Issues
ing inside cities (39.1 percent) or rural non-farm
                                                         Heartland Region respondents obtain information
(38.7 percent) also have changed their pesticide,
                                                         about water quality in many ways (Figure 31).
fertilizer or other chemical use. About one-fifth
                                                         Newspapers (72.5 percent) and television (60.8
of all respondents changed the way their yard is
                                                         percent) are the major sources with those living
landscaped. Examination of actions to preserve
                                                         inside cities reporting the highest use. Radio (41.9
water quality or conserve water by state (Figure
                                                         percent) and environmental agencies (41 percent)
29) reveal differences that reflect earlier responses
                                                         are also important sources of information for a
on beliefs about water scarcity. A greater percent
                                                         large proportion of respondents. Farm respondents
of Kansas (67.3 percent) and Nebraska (72.3
                                                         report the highest levels of use for extension ser-
percent) respondents report changing how often
                                                         vices (68.2 percent), environmental agencies (47.7
they water their yards and how their yards are
                                                         percent) and universities (45.3 percent). Internet
landscaped (24.4 percent Kansas; 25.4 percent
                                                         (18.9 percent) and schools (17 percent) are also
Nebraska). Changes in use of pesticides, fertiliz-
                                                         sources of water quality information.
ers or other chemicals are similar in all four states,
ranging from 35 to 42 percent. Nebraska residents
                                                         A few differences in water quality information
are most likely to test their drinking water (32.5
                                                         sources exist among the Heartland states (Figure
percent) and Missouri (24.8 percent) and Kansas
                                                                Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
             100




              80




              60              55.5
   Percent




                                                 50.1

                                                                41.2
              40




              20                                                                    16.8              16.8
                                                                                                                         13.7

                                                                                                                                          5.9

                 0
                        News coverage          First hand   Conversations        Attending         Classes or         Financial    Speech by an
                                              observation     with other            public        presentations     considerations elected official
                                                               people           meetings or
                                                                               participating in
                                                                                 volunteer
                                                                                  activities
  Figure 27. What Resulted in Changes-of-Mind on Environmental Issues?

                       100



                        80
                              65.4




                                                                        61.8




                                                                                                                  Inside Town or City
                                       59.3




                        60                                                                                        Outside City (rural non-farm)
                                                                                                                  Farm
             Percent




                                   46.7




                                                    44.7




                                                                                                                  Total Population
                                 42.1




                                                                    40.4
                                                 39.1
                                                 39.1
                                                 38.7




                        40
                                                                                                           31.1
                                                                                                          29.0
                                                                            27.7




                                                                                       23.7
                                                                                      22.2

                                                                                     20.2
                                                                 20.1




                                                                                     19.1




                        20
                                                                                                                  11.1




                                                                                                                             9.2
                                                                                                                            6.6


                                                                                                                           6.0
                                                                                                                          3.6
                                                                                                       3.0




                         0
                              Changed how Changed your           Tested your         Changed the      Pumped your            Other
                             often you water     use of         drinking water      way your yard     septic system
                                your yard     pesticides,                           is landscaped
                                             fertilizers, or
                                                  other
                                              chemicals
             Figure 28. Efforts to Conserve Water or Preserve Water Quality?

 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
                         100



                          80




                                            72.3
                                     67.3
                                                                                                                             Iowa




                                               59.3
                                                                                                                             Kansas
                                        56.3
                          60
                                                                                                                             Missouri
               Percent



                                47.1


                                                                                                                             Nebraska


                                                           42.0
                                                          41.5

                                                         39.7
                                                                                                                             Total Population




                                                         39.1
                                                       35.1
                          40




                                                                               32.5
                                                                             29.9



                                                                            27.7




                                                                                                 25.4
                                                                           24.9
                                                                           24.8




                                                                                                24.4


                                                                                              20.2
                                                                                              19.8




                                                                                                                      13.9
                          20




                                                                                           13.5




                                                                                                           13.5



                                                                                                                    11.1
                                                                                                                  8.1




                                                                                                                                 7.8
                                                                                                              6.5




                                                                                                                                6.1

                                                                                                                                6.0
                                                                                                                               5.3
                                                                                                                               4.7
                           0
                                Changed how Changed your                Tested your         Changed the    Pumped your             Other
                               often you water     use of              drinking water      way your yard   septic system
                                  your yard     pesticides,                                is landscaped
                                               fertilizers, or
                                                    other
                                                chemicals
               Figure 29. Efforts to Conserve Water or Preserve Water Quality (by state)
          20




          15
Percent




          10


                                                                                                                                           7.1



           5
                                                             3.7
                               2.8
                                                                                     2.1
                                                                                                              1.3


           0
                     Master Gardener                   Volunteer water        Lake, river, or bay    Town conservation            Other water or
                        Program                       quality monitoring      protection groups        commissions                 environmental
                                                                                                                                 protection groups

Figure 30. Have You Participated in the Following Activities? (Check all that apply.)
                                                                 Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
                                                                                                          76.6
                 Newspapers                                                                     60.9 65.5
                                                                                                      72.5
                                                                                          63.4
                   Television                                                       55.656.3
                                                                                        60.8
                                                                        43.9
                       Radio                                           35.7
                                                                          44.8
                                                                      41.9
                                                                     40.3
      Environmental agencies                                        38.9
                                                                           47.7
                                                                     41.0
                                                         27.9
           Extension services                                31.0
                                                                                                    68.2
                                                            32.1
                                                           33.0
        Environmental groups                       18.8 26.4
                                                      29.8                                          Inside Town or City
                                                      28.8                                          Outside City (rural non-farm)
                  Universities                       26.1
                                                                          45.3                      Farm
                                                      29.5
                                                18.9                                                Total Population
                      Internet               16.2
                                                21.5
                                             18.9
                                           15.8
                     Schools                     22.0
                                              17.7
                                           17.0
                                 0          20                    40                    60                    80             100
                                                                         Percent
     Figure 31. Source of Water Quality Information
                                                                                                         73.5
                                                                                                         71.8
                 Newspapers                                                                            67.2
                                                                                                                80.1
                                                                                                       72.5
                                                                                             63.6
                                                                                        52.2 58.9
                   Television
                                                                                                     69.1
                                                                                             60.8
                                                                         44.8
                                                                  34.4 38.4
                       Radio
                                                                                 51.9
                                                                        41.9
                                                                          40.7
                                                                      38.3
      Environmental agencies                                             41.3
                                                                             43.4
                                                                       41.0
                                                                34.7
                                                                     36.4                                       Iowa
           Extension services                                       23.6
                                                                      39.1                                      Kansas
                                                              32.1
                                                          28.1
                                                         26.0                                                   Missouri
        Environmental groups                                   32.9
                                                            30.3                                                Nebraska
                                                           29.8
                                                          28.4                                                  Total Population
                                                                34.4
                  Universities                            23.8
                                                                  36.0
                                                           29.5
                                          15.0
                                             17.8
                      Internet                    22.4
                                              19.0
                                              18.9
                                          14.9
                                         13.0
                     Schools                    19.9
                                               18.8
                                            17.0

                                 0          20                    40                    60                    80             100
                                                                         Percent
     Figure 32. Sources of Water Quality Information
0 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
          100




           80




           60
                   54.0            53.3
Percent




                                                   49.0


                                                           39.6
           40
                                                                                                                   33.8


                                                                            22.1
           20
                                                                                              12.8




            0
                  </ = 30         30-40           40-50    50-60            60-70            >/ = 70               Total
                                                                                                                 Population
Figure 33. Would You Visit a Web site for Information and Tips on Water Quality Issues? (by age)

                      Technology/communication                                                                   67.9

                                          Education                                                       61.1


                                      Government                                             51.5

                                              Other                                   43.7

                Management/retail business/sales                                    42.2

      Manufacturing/construction/transportation                                37.5


                  Food service/recreation/tourism                              36.8

                                  Total Population                          33.8


                 Incorrectly filled out/missing data                 24.8

            Farm/ranch/fishing/fish farming/forest
                                         products                  21.7

                                            Retired          17.0

                                                       0     20                40                    60                   80   100
                                                                                 Percent
Figure 34. Would You Visit a Web site for Information and Tips on Water Quality Issues? (by occupation)
                                                                    Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
   32). Nebraska respondents are most likely com-                                 (32.9 percent) compared to the other three states
   pared to other Heartland Region states to use the                              in the region.
   three top medias (newspaper 80.1 percent; televi-
   sion 69.1 percent; radio 51.9 percent) as sources                              While about 34 percent of respondents say they
   of water quality information. Nebraska reports the                             would visit a Web site for information and tips
   highest proportion of respondents using Exten-                                 on water quality, there are differences among
   sion services (39.1) and Missouri the lowest (23.6                             age groups (Figure 33). Those most likely to use
   percent). Missouri respondents are more likely to                              a Web site are under the age of 50 years. About
   obtain information from environmental groups                                   forty percent of those in the 50 to 60 age range



                                                                                          56.0
                   Drinking water and                                                   48.2
                        human health                                                44.7
                                                                                        53.0
                                                                       31.6
                   Home and garden                                       33.9
                       landscaping                                    25.0
                                                                      31.3
                                                                    27.4
                                                                   23.1
                  Water conservation                                 29.0
                                                                   26.0
                                                               22.0
                       Environmental                            22.7
                          restoration                           22.4
                                                                21.7
                                                               20.7
                Pollution assessment                             24.4
                       and prevention                        18.4
                                                              20.8
                                                              19.7
               Nutrients and pesticide                       18.7
                         management                               25.0
                                                              19.7
                                                     9.5
               Private well and septic                                            44.0
                system management                                                 44.7
                                                             19.6
                                                            16.5
                  Animal manure and                            20.9
                  waste management                                         35.5
                                                             18.5
                                                            16.4
                    Agricultural water                       18.2
                        management                                              40.8
                                                              18.0
                                                             17.5
                         Watershed                          16.9
                        management                                25.0
                                                            17.8                                 Inside Town or City
                                                           14.7                                  Outside City (rural non-farm)
                     Water policy and                      13.3
                          economics                        14.5                                  Farm
                                                          14.1
                                                                                                 Total Population
                                                    7.6
                 Small acreage water                                26.2
               and land management                                  26.3
                                                       13.0
                                                    8.9
               Irrigation management                 9.8
                                                                 22.4
                                                     10.0
                                              1.9
                                Other        0.0
                                              2.6
                                             1.5
                                         0                  20             40               60      80           100
                                                                                  Percent
             Figure 35. Would You Like to Learn More About Any of the Following?

 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
would visit a Web site and 22.1 percent of those                        More than fifty percent of all respondents say they
60 to 70 years would visit. Use of the Web as a                         would like to learn more about drinking water and
source for water quality information by occupa-                         human health (Figure 35). One-third of all respon-
tion (Figure 34) varies from 67.9 percent of those                      dents are interested in learning more about home
in technology/communication occupations to                              and garden landscaping. More than a quarter
17 percent who report being retired. Over fifty                         would like to learn more about water conservation
percent of those in education (61.1 percent) and                        and 21.7 percent have an interest in environmen-
government (51.5 percent) say they would visit a                        tal restoration. As expected, differences among
Web site.                                                               rural and urban residents are most evident in the
                                                                        management of private well and septic systems,


                                                                                             56.0
                       Read printed fact sheets,                                              57.3
                         bulletins, or brochures                                                 63.2
                                                                                             56.8
                                                                                            58.8
                    Read a newspaper article or                                       47.6
                   series, or watch TV coverage                                    40.8
                                                                                          54.6
                                                                              35.6
                              Visit a Web site for                           33.8
                             information and tips                         29.0
                                                                            33.8
                                                                   18.1
                        Look at a demonstration                    17.3
                                     or display                      21.1
                                                                   18.2
                                                                   16.4
                                                                      22.7
                                  Watch a video
                                                                       23.7
                                                                    18.1
                                                             9.6
                                                               12.4
                          Attend a fair or festival              17.1
                                                              10.9
                                                               11.2
                Take part in a onetime volunteer              10.2
                activity to learn or do something          5.3
                                                              10.7
                                                           5.5
              Ask for a home, farm, or workplace             9.8
                                                                   15.8
                     water practices assessment                               Inside Town or City
                                                           7.1
                                                                              Outside City (rural non-farm)
                                                           5.9
                                                            8.4               Farm
                             Attend short course
                                                             10.5             Total Population
                                                           7.0
                                                           5.8
                              Take a course for            6.2
                            certification or credit        5.3
                                                           5.8
                                                          3.3
                        Get trained for a regular          4.9
                               volunteer position         2.6
                                                          3.5

                                                      0            20         40             60         80    100
                                                                                   Percent
            Figure 36. Learning Opportunities Likely to be Taken Advantage of by Respondents

                                                                               Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
   with those living on farms (44.7 percent) and          all aspects of water use, with recreation as the
   outside cities (44.0 percent) having much higher       lowest overall priority.
   proportion of interest than those living inside cit-
   ies (9.5 percent). Farmers have the highest levels     They believe that both their own local govern-
   of interest in learning about animal manure and        ments and their state should take actions and
   waste management (35.5 percent), agricultural          work to protect their waters. It is important to
   water management (40.8 percent), overall wa-           note however that there are large differences
   tershed management (25 percent), nutrient and          among farmers, rural non-farm and city residents
   pesticide management (25 percent) and irrigation       on this. Forty percent of farmers believe it is the
   management (22.4 percent). Rural non farm (26.2        individual citizens’ responsibility to act to protect
   percent) and farm (26.3 percent) respondents have      their waters. In contrast, 16 percent rural nonfarm
   higher levels of interest in small acreage water       and almost 8 percent city think it is an individual
   and land management compared to urban respon-          responsibility. However, a majority say they don’t
   dents (7.6 percent).                                   know whether any of these sectors are actually
                                                          fulfilling their responsibility. This has important
   Lastly, respondents report on the ways they would      implications for public policies. Many believe
   like information to be presented so they can take      that water is a natural resource that should be
   advantage of it (Figure 36). Popular resources are     used. However, in this region where agriculture is
   printed fact sheets and bulletins (56.8 percent)       fundamental to the economy, agricultural produc-
   and current media such as newspaper and TV             tion—both crop and livestock industries—are
   coverage (54.6 percent). About one-third would         also viewed as a major source of water pollution.
   visit a Web site. About 18 percent would look at       Urban and rural residents perceive water issues
   demonstrations or displays and watch a video.          differently and often have different concerns
   Smaller numbers would attend a fair or festival        about water. This is likely the result of differing
   (10.9 percent), engage in a volunteer or one time      experiences and knowledge as well as proximity
   learning activity (10.7 percent), ask for a water      to land and water uses.
   practices assessment (7.1 percent), attend a short
   course (7 percent), take a certification course (5.8   It is not enough to ask Heartland residents what
   percent) and be trained for a regular volunteer        they think about their water issues. The next step
   position (3.5 percent).                                in capacity building is to use these findings to
                                                          inform our technical and educational interven-
   Compared to non-farm respondents, a higher pro-        tion strategies. Knowledge of where citizens learn
   portion of farmers thought they would use printed      about water and the priorities they give to water
   fact sheets and bulletins (63.2 percent), watch a      concerns provide valuable information for com-
   video (23.7 percent), or take advantage of active      munity leaders, extension, agencies, and educa-
   learning opportunities such as attend demonstra-       tors to better target their programs. We encourage
   tions and displays (21.1 percent), attend a fair or    community leaders to talk about these results and
   festival (17.1 percent), ask for a water practices     think about what major water issues their com-
   assessment (15.8 percent) and attend a short           munity faces. Although we have grouped the
   course (10.5 percent).                                 Heartland as a region, there are differences among
                                                          the states in their agricultural base and priorities.
   CONCLUSION                                             State summaries of this survey are available for
   Many Heartland residents have given a great deal       individual state organizations and agencies to ex-
   of thought to water and environmental issues.          amine more closely the perceptions of their own
   They are most concerned about drinking water,          population (http://www.heartlandwq.iastate.edu).
   but place a high level of importance on virtually

 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
APPENDIX A


 Survey Methodology

 A 38-item survey was designed based on water quality questions developed for a national survey
 by water quality coordinators under the leadership of Dr. Robert Mahler, Professor of Soil and
 Environmental Sciences at University of Idaho and modified through discussions with the
 Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative PIs. (See Appendix C for survey items). This
 national random sample survey, stratified by state was conducted in the four-state Heartland
 Region February-April 2006 by Dr. Mahler under a USDA 406 Water Quality grant #2004-
 51130-02245 Coordination of Water Quality Programs in the Pacific Northwest. Random sample
 survey numbers were based on July 1, 2005 U.S. Census estimates (rounded to nearest 10,000)
 of the current population of the Heartland states:

        State                Population Estimate (2005)
        Iowa                           3,000,000
        Kansas                         2,750,000
        Missouri                       5,800,000
        Nebraska                       1,750,000
          Total                       13,300,000

 Each state was allocated 200 surveys for a base population of 500,000 people. Then 25 more
 surveys were added per additional 250,000 people. A random sample of names was drawn for
 each state. After accounting for 10% bad addresses, the following numbers of surveys were sent
 to randomly selected individuals:

        Iowa                    450 surveys
        Kansas                  425 surveys
        Missouri                725 surveys
        Nebraska                325 surveys

 Example: Iowa received a base of 200 surveys for the first 500,000 residents; then 25 additional
 surveys per each additional 250,000 people above the 500,000 base. So, 3,000,000 people-
 500,000 people (base) = 2,500,000/250,000=10; 10 x 25 additional surveys = 250 additional
 surveys. In summary 200 (base) + 250 (additional) = 450 Iowa survey sample.

 The Dillman four-stage mail survey methodology was used with the first mailing sent
 February 1, 2006 followed by February 20 reminder card; followed approximately 20 days later
 by a letter with 2nd survey to those who had not yet responded and approximately another 20
 days later a second reminder post card was mailed to non-responders. Initial mailing and third
 mailing included a cover letter, the survey, and a postage paid return envelop. Survey addresses



                                                           Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
    were purchased from Survey Sampling International, Fairfield, CT. Human assurance approval
    was obtained from University of Idaho as the USDA-CSREES-406 grant awardee.

    Final response rates (April 10, 2006) were as follows:

                                              Surveys        Number returned    Percent returned
             State                           mailed out        complete            complete
             Iowa                                450               272               60.44
             Kansas                              425               215               50.59
             Missouri                            725               346               47.72
             Nebraska                            325               209               64.31
               Total                           1,925             1,042               54.13

    Data were analyzed at University of Idaho and Iowa State University, Department of Sociology.
    Five technical reports (SP289 Four-State Heartland Region, SP 290 Water Issues in Iowa,
    SP 291 Water Issues in Nebraska, SP 292 Water Issues in Kansas, SP 293 Water Issues in
    Missouri) provide a summary of descriptive findings and were published by Iowa State
    University Extension and Department of Sociology. These reports and additional analyses
    conducted at Iowa State University are available on the Heartland Regional Water Coordination
    Initiative web site http://www.heartlandwq.iastate.edu.




 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
APPENDIX B




             Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
               APPENDIX C




 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
0 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
 — Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region
Water Issues in the Four-State Heartland Region — 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color,
national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited
bases apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file a complaint of
discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington,
DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. Jack M. Payne, director, Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa.
                               Prepared by
Lois Wright Morton, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Iowa State University
 Susan S. Brown, Ph.D., Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University
   With Jessica Leiting, Department of Sociology, Iowa State University
     Graphic layout and formatting, Renea Miller and LaDonna Osborn

    Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative Leadership Team
                 Gerald A. Miller, Iowa State University
               Charles J. Barden, Kansas State University
                    Bob Broz, University of Missouri
                Daniel L. Devlin, Kansas State University
                   Damon Frizzell, U.S. EPA Region 7
                Sandra S. Hodge, University of Missouri
               Richard K. Koelsch, University of Nebraska
                  John Lawrence, Iowa State University
               Lois Wright Morton, Iowa State University
              Charles S. Wortmann, University of Nebraska

								
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