New Jersey Institute of Technology Poll on Water: Residents Don't Mind Water Restrictions and Would Cut Usage
"Actually, flushing your toilet less is not as efficient a method of conservation as installing a low-flow shower head. The shower head outputs one half of the flow, saving 15 gallons per shower," says Taha F. Maharba, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental engineering and director of the New Jersey Applied Water Research Center at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). "People can save about 15 percent of their daily water usage by installing the low-cost, low-flow shower heads."
More than three out of four (76 percent) New Jersey residents believe that individual reductions in household water consumption can make a great difference (36 percent) or at least some difference (40 percent) in reducing problems.
By nearly eight to one, New Jerseyans say the best reason to conserve water is because it's "the right thing to do" rather than because using less water will cost less money. "Well, that's good," says Marhaba, "because, although water costs little now--especially for residents of one of the highest income per capita states in the nation--the cost is rising. Higher prices are bound to come about due to the need for improvement in the infrastructure and the driving forces behind the increasingly stringent standards and regulations. Actually, rate structuring should be used as an effective tool for water conservation in this state due to the frequently recurring drought emergencies."
Considering some ways the state and water utilities might address the current water situation, New Jersey residents think it is a better idea to repair old pumping stations and leaky pipes than drill new wells, seed clouds to make rain, or purchase water from other states.
The poll was conducted among 400 New Jersey adults selected randomly from a list of residential phone numbers. The interviews were conducted by telephone from April 1-5, 2002. Quotas were established by region based on census population figures in New Jersey counties. The margin of error for this poll is ±4.9 percent on the overall sample. The margin of error on subsamples is greater.
Editor's Note: Graphs with colored illustrations depicting the comments of the polled residents are available electronically from Sheryl Weinstein.
NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university
enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and
doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges:
Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science
and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of
Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults
eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives
include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering,
environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials,
microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics.
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