The Relationship Between Perceived Motivation for Water Pollution Abatement Programs and Preferred Methods of Financing Such Programs

Kevin G. Croke
Daniel Swartzman
Gary R. Brenniman

DOI: 10.2190/JR2G-H2A7-7FT4-W892


Current water pollution abatement programs are financed by federal, state, and local taxation, suggesting that the benefits of such programs are widely shared by all members of the community. Assessments of these efforts, however, have concentrated on use-related benefits, suggesting the notion that those who benefit from use of the waterways should pay for water quality improvements. This inconsistency is explored. A public opinion survey was administered to a random sample of the population in the Chicago metropolitan area (N = 350). Respondents' perceptions of the motivation for water clean-up efforts and their preferences on methods for financing such efforts were measured. The dominant motivation was non-use-related, supporting current financing mechanisms. However, inconsistent attitudes among the respondents suggest that policymaking to reconcile perceived motivation and preferred method of payment may be difficult.

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