The wisdom of the crowds? Water awareness in the European Union

An interesting survey by TNS Political and Social for the European Commission amongst more than 25,000 Europeans was completed recently. It shows large differences in awareness of water issues between various national populations. Four out of ten Europeans think they are well or very well informed about water issues, but this percentage is significantly higher in Denmark (62%) than in Latvia (16%). A surprisingly large segment of the interviewees (68%) considers that there are serious issues with water quality in Europe. Romania, France and Italy lead the way here with high levels of concern, whereas concerns are lower in countries such as Austria, Germany and Finland. In 15 countries the respondents to the survey see improved water quality in the last ten years, whereas in ten countries respondents see deterioration. It would be very interesting to compare these judgments with actual water quality measurements. If there is a strong correlation, public judgment of water quality could perhaps be used as a reliable indicator for water quality. Is this perhaps another instance of Wisdom of the Crowds?

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