Surveying ordinary Australians on their understanding of water sustainability and management issues can reveal some surprising knowledge gaps, as shown by a recent review of water literacy by CRC for Water Sensitive Cities researchers.

Dr Kelly Fielding from the University of Queensland, who oversees the Engaging communities with water sensitive cities project (Project A2.3), and her team have released a report and industry note detailing their study on water attitudes.

The report, A National Survey of Australians’ Water Literacy and Water-related Attitudes, discussed results from a survey of more than 5100 people that aimed to estimate current national levels of understanding of topics such as the definition of a catchment or that domestic wastewater is treated before reaching waterways.

Most respondents demonstrated knowledge that their own household actions can reduce water use, household fertilisers can impair waterway health and that planting trees near waterways improves waterway health.

With this information, the research team can now work with government and industry partners to develop methods for increasing national water literacy and encouraging the public to adopt and support water sensitive behaviours.

Download the report.

Download the industry note.

Last updated: 28th Apr 2015