My water's fine, isn't it? An exploration of the gendered perception of water quality and security in Australia

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Abstract

Drinking water is one of the most vital elements to the well-being of all species on earth, yet is something many humans in developed nations take for granted. Drawing from face-to-face interviews with 169 Australian residents in five capital cities (Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney) and rural locations (Wagga Wagga and other localities), we present findings on men and women's perceptions and concerns about their drinking water, including contamination by agriculture and terrorism. Findings show variation by gender, location, urbanisation, and the type and quantity of concerns, with the majority of the sample having limited concerns about their drinking water despite media and scientific evidence of contamination events in Australia. Restricted Australian federal and state legislation, and microbial and chemical contamination prevention measures being determined by population size, highlight the limited perception of the risks associated with drinking water and reveals need for further social and physical analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-213
Number of pages12
JournalRural Society
Volume18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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