April 1987 Home   Newsletters

September 1987

December 1987

League Honors Mason and Saunders
From the President (Anne Lee)
Meet the Board
Update: State Convention
Blessings of Liberty
New Education Position
Hawaii's Agriculture (Jim Koshi)
Drinking Water Perception Survey (Kiyoko Nitz)
Update: Natural Resources (Kiyoko Nitz)
Test Your Welfare I.Q.
State PMP: How We Compare
Update on Contributions

Drinking Water Perception Survey

Thank you! You're great! I am still overwhelmed by the League members' outstanding cooperation with the survey. As of August 1, 1987, 45% of the members in the State participated (280 mailed). Thank you to all the members who took time to fill out and mail the questionnaire and to Helen Whorton of the Honolulu League for helping me mail the questionnaires and compile the results.

The Drinking Water Perception Survey was the first round of the National LWV's "Safe Drinking Water Project." Response to the survey was apparently substantial nationwide with 568 League entities in 47 states participating.

Summary of Responses for Hawaii

  • A majority of the members use local utility for water supply. Quite a few members, however, were not sure what the source of their water supply was - ground water or surface water. Also, most of the condominium residents are not aware of how much of their maintenance fees go toward water.

  • Although 45% of the survey respondents said they were confident, or very confident, that water utilities were meeting federal and state drinking water standards for various substances in finished water, 50% of the respondents were not confident, or only somewhat confident, that these standards were being met.

  • When asked what were the most serious health parameters in drinking water, the largest number of respondents indicated bacteria/viruses, followed by lead, agricultural pesticides, trihalomethanes, fluoride, and, radionuclides. Approximately 33% of respondents said they didn't know how to rank the health parameters.

  • Prioritizing the environmental health issues was also difficult for many - including Helen Whorton, who was a chemistry major in college. Members have very definite ideas about local issues, but are less sure about the order of importance of national issues. When asked to prioritize the local issues, the majority chose "ensuring the safety of community drinking water supplies" as the most important and "reducing groundwater contamination from agricultural chemicals" as the second most important. Many members assigned "1" (Most important) to all the items.

Though the survey was about the drinking water in general, the conclusions we can draw immediately are that our members have a strong interest in water quality and that there is a need for more information and education about water resources. (If you would like to learn about your local League's responses, your president has a summary copy of local returns.)

Future Survey

The second round, the "Water Quality and Issues Survey," will take place in October and November. The goal, according to National, is to explore, at the local and the state level, the basic factors affecting the quality of community drinking water such as source protection and compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.

The local League survey will seek information from water utilities or districts on local water conditions and their ability to meet the 1986 SDWA requirements. The state survey will investigate measures states are planning now to assist utilities and districts in meeting these requirements.

This second round will demand very close cooperation between the state League and the local Leagues. It will also require more volunteers. If you can help with either the local or the state League activities in this second round, please let me" or your local League president know.

Kiyoko Nitz

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