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Attitudes and perspectives toward water and water management in the Town of Gibsons, British Columbia

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(Project) M.R.M.
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Water management is increasingly important to Canadians, especially in communities where water shortages, aging infrastructure, and contamination threats are occurring or imminent. Increasing urbanization and climate change may exacerbate these problems, highlighting the need for local governments to address water challenges currently. Recently, water research has incorporated questions about governance and policy, but little research exists on peoples’ attitudes toward water in Canada. Attitudes influence peoples’ support for water policies, and a better understanding of attitudes could lead to improved water policy. This study uses Q methodology to explore participants’ attitudes about current water supply and management, and alternatives for improving water management, in Gibsons, British Columbia. Three distinct viewpoints about current conditions and three distinct viewpoints about preferred alternatives are identified. These viewpoints differ from the attitudes frequently described in Canadian water policy literature. Areas of consensus among views suggest options for future water policy in Gibsons.
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