Date of Award
Master of Applied Science (MASc)
Environmental Applied Science and Management
Ontario drinking water systems face increasing contamination risks due to over-taxed water systems. Canadian perceptions of drinking water, and trust in government, have declined as a result of Walkerton and other contamination episodes. Research in the field of trust, risk communication and risk perception has developed extensively in recent years. However, there is very little research regarding risk perception, communication and trust as it relates to drinking water. This study investigated drinking water perceptions, trust in drinking water authorities and communication needs of a small Ontario municipality with a positive drinking water history and good communication practices. The results indicated that the community members had positive perceptions about their source and drinking water. They had high levels of trust in their local government and low levels of trust in outside sources. Despite the high levels of trust in the local government, the residents displayed additional information needs; suggesting the presence of critical trust.
Burley, Caitlin J., "Drinking water quality and trust : communities and risk information" (2007). Theses and dissertations. Paper 377.