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New Mexicans Would Spend Money On Water Only Before Welfare

New Mexicans Would Spend Money On Water Only Before Welfare

90 Percent Would Spend Tax Dollars On Other Expenses Over Water

FluksAqua, a water and wastewater utility forum, conducted a statewide survey asking New Mexicans how concerned they are with their water supply. The results were baffling: 90 percent of New Mexicans would spend their tax dollars on other infrastructures over their water system. Is New Mexico taking clean water access for granted?

An abundance of drinkable tap water could be creating indifference for water-related environmental concerns. According to a survey by FluksAqua, New Mexicans were lukewarm when asked about water and how vital it is to their everyday lives.

FluksAqua is the world’s largest online community created by a group of water and wastewater professionals to facilitate a flow of information between operators and professionals on issues of water safety, infrastructure, conservation and optimization.

“Everyone is concerned about water when your grass is brown or fire risks are high but they quickly forget about it when the grass is green and the water is flowing,” said Hubert Colas, president of FluksAqua, in a press release. “We need to prioritize the water system year-round, not just in drought season, for it to remain in good health.”

Only a small number of New Mexicans would choose to invest in water systems with their tax dollars (9.9 percent) and only after education (30.9 percent), healthcare, (21.2 percent), infrastructure (13.6 percent), security (11.5 percent) and roads and highways (10.3 percent). In fact, the only tax dollar spend they would choose to avoid more is welfare (2.7 percent).

Although New Mexicans drink a lot of water, but they may not care about keeping it flowing. Forty-six percent of New Mexicans drink three to six 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but 90 percent would spend their tax dollars on other industries before spending on the water system. Forty-two percent believe education is a more undervalued public industry than water and wastewater operation (14.2 percent).

New Mexicans overwhelmingly rely on water first when it matters. When asked what is the most important item when prepping for a natural disaster, a definitive 67 percent of New Mexicans would secure water first compared to communication (11.2 percent), food (10.8 percent), money (4.4 percent), batteries (4 percent), and lighting sources (2.5 percent).

The FluksAqua survey also revealed that New Mexicans would rather be water operators than lawyers. When asked to reveal their childhood dream job, water operator (6.3 percent), took second place only to lawyer (1 percent.)

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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