Engaging the Public in Water Policy: Do Political Affiliation and Ideology Matter
Author: Kristin E. Gibson, Alexa J. Lamm, Kyle Maurice Woosnam, and D. Barry Croom,Issue #173
Unsustainable human activities are rapidly depleting freshwater resources in many parts of the United States. Public policy surrounding water conservation is arguably one of the most essential strategies for targeting the preservation of water. Increased public engagement in environmental policy may bolster sustainable consumption of water resources if nuances in human behavior are targeted through communication messages. A quantitative research design using an online survey of the general United States public was used to explore if political affiliation and political ideology predicted how respondents prepared to vote on a policy that impacts water. The study revealed that respondents neither agreed nor disagreed on the level to which they would take specific actions to become prepared to vote on a policy that impacts water, indicating there is room for improvement. Results from a multiple linear regression revealed political affiliation and political ideology significantly predicted how respondents prepared to vote on a policy that impacts water; however, they accounted for a small amount of variance in the models. Future studies should identify additional predictors to determine how respondents prepare to vote on a policy that impacts water since political affiliation and political ideology were not a major influence on how respondents prepare to vote. Environmental communicators should focus their outreach efforts on increasing public preparedness to vote on polices that impact water.