New Mexico Residents’ Attitudes Toward Water Use and Monetary Trade-offs
The research had two specific aims as follows: 1) to provide information that will be useful to New Mexico Water Resource planners in solving problems concerned with water resources and related issues; 2) to demonstrate how a mail survey of the general public can be a useful supplement to traditional methods of obtaining public participation in water resources planning and management.
The research procedure utilized in this study consisted of contacting by telephone a random sample of New Mexico residents and asking them if they would be willing to participate in a mail questionnaire survey. The respondents who agreed to participate received a questionnaire in the mail. The respondents completed the questionnaire and returned it free of charge. A total of 310 questionnaires were returned in usable form.
The major findings of the survey are as follows: 1) the respondents feel that the New Mexico government needs to be involved in water resources problems; 2) a large percentage of the respondents believed that all forms of recreation should be made available to everyone; 3) the respondents do not appear to know to what extent water pollution is a problem in New Mexico; 4) the respondents do not believe that the public is kept well informed about the government’s role in water pollution control; 5) a large percentage of respondents agree than disagree that nuclear energy should be encouraged in New Mexico; 6) the majority of respondents believe that New Mexico’s water pollution problems should be handled by the state government, and not the local, county, or federal government; 7) the respondents are not well aware of New Mexico’s state water pollution programs; 8) only a small percentage of the respondents indicated that they would be willing to pay additional taxes to reduce water pollution; 9) many of the respondents were attempting to conserve water in some manner; and 10) industrial water pollution is believed to be a more serious problem than home or agricultural water Pollution.
The results of this study show that the use of a survey can be an important method of acquiring public input for the planning of water resources programs.
Project No. 1345624