Researchers in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities project Engaging communities with water sensitive cities (Project A2.3) have revealed some surprising and valuable insights into Australians' water knowledge in a new report.
The publication, 'Community knowledge about water: Who has better water-related knowledge and is this important?', continues to explore findings from a national survey of 5172 people that were discussed earlier this year in 'A National Survey of Australians' Water Literacy and Water-related Attitudes'.
Authors Angela Dean, Kelly Fielding, Helen Ross (the University of Queensland) and Fiona Newton (Monash University) said their exploration of the survey results would help water authorities and stakeholders to create more effective community engagement campaigns.
“Many water management approaches promote engaging with the community – not only for targeting household water demand or individual behaviours, but as a means of cultivating trust in reform processes and building support for new policies or investment. Identifying community knowledge about water related issues is an essential precursor of effective community engagement” the authors said.
Among some interesting findings, the authors found higher water knowledge was often associated with older age, being male, having higher education and living in non-urban areas, while poorer water knowledge was associated with speaking a language other than English in the home, and having at least one migrant parent.
“These findings confirm the importance of community knowledge, and identify potential subgroups who may require additional targeting to build knowledge and support for water management initiatives.”