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Water 2014, 6(1), 1-16; doi:10.3390/w6010001

Humans and the Water Environment: The Need for Coordinated Data Collection

1
Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, Room 326, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2
Department of Urban & Regional Planning and Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, 611 Lorado Taft Drive, Room 111, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 October 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
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Abstract

Efforts to observe humans in relation to nature over time and at large scale are few and disjointed in ways that impede progress in building scientific foundations for sustainability. Two water-oriented national-scale case studies highlight the challenges of integrating existing natural system and social system data: one concerns the influence of environmental attitudes and water quality on water conservation efforts; the other explores relationships between environmental attitudes, water quality and recreation behavior. The case studies show that coupled research conducted at large scale can yield new insights, but uncoordinated data limit meaningful inference. We propose salient features of a coordinated observation program for water.
Keywords: environmental behavior; sustainability science; science policy; survey research; water conservation; water recreation environmental behavior; sustainability science; science policy; survey research; water conservation; water recreation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Braden, J.B.; Jolejole-Foreman, M.C.; Schneider, D.W. Humans and the Water Environment: The Need for Coordinated Data Collection. Water 2014, 6, 1-16.

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