Image credit: “Water Faucet,” Rose Mary © 2014

In a nation of red states and blue states, water policy is an issue that often dissolves party lines.

“It turns out most Americans care a lot about water and have strong feelings on infrastructure spending and other water-related issues,” News Deeply reported in a recent analysis of water polling data.

For both Democrats and Republicans, water pollution is the top environmental concern, according to a 2016 Gallup poll cited by News Deeply.

Even in the deeply polarized U.S. Senate, officials have found ways to work together on water issues. For instance, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Rob Portman, R-OH, collaborated on a water pollution bill introduced this year.

Americans who care about water issues are passionate about this concern.

“In its 2017 survey, Gallup found that 63 percent of Americans worry a ‘great deal’ about pollution of drinking water, and another 22 percent worry a ‘fair amount.’ Those were the highest levels of worry recorded since 2001,” News Deeply reported, citing this poll.

 

In one poll, many voters ranked depleted rivers as a more serious issue than unemployment, News Deeply reported, citing an additional set of polls.

Weather patterns sometimes exacerbate respondents concerns about water.

“In 2015, the brutal drought in California generated an unprecedented finding: For the first time since The Public Policy Institute of California started polling in 1998, water issues were the state’s top issue of concern, eclipsing the economy, jobs and other matters,” Ne
ws Deeply reported.

Environmental issues, including climate change, are often deeply polarizing. But voters are less polarized on the question of water policy.

“At least in the realm of green issues, water has always been more worrisome to Americans than problems such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Like air pollution, water is far more proximate and real to people than invisible, odorless greenhouse gases or imperiled critters living in some faraway rainforest,” News Deeply reported.