Minding the gap: socio-demographic factors linked to the perception of environmental pollution, water harvesting infrastructure, and gardening characteristics

Monday, December 5, 2022
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Community Outreach Programs
Administration/Leadership/Policymakers | General Public
Ecology, forestry, and agriculture | Health and medicine
Access and Inclusion: 
Low Socioeconomic Status
University of Arizona, Sonora Environmental Research Institute

With the ongoing need for water conservation, the American Southwest has worked to increase harvested rainwater efforts to meet municipal needs. Concomitantly, environmental pollution is prevalent, leading to concerns regarding the quality of harvested rainwater. Project Harvest, a co-created community science project, was initiated with communities that neighbor sources of pollution. To better understand how a participant’s socio-demographic factors affect home characteristics and rainwater harvesting infrastructure, pinpoint gardening practices, and determine participant perception of environmental pollution, a 145-question “Home Description Survey” was administered to Project Harvest participants (n = 167) by project promotoras (community health workers). Race/ethnicity and community were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with participant responses regarding proximity to potential sources of pollution, roof material, water harvesting device material, harvesting device capacity, harvesting device age, garden amendments, supplemental irrigation, and previous contaminant testing. Further, the study has illuminated the idiosyncratic differences in how underserved communities perceive environmental pollution and historical past land uses in their community. We propose that the collection of such data will inform the field on how to tailor environmental monitoring efforts and results for constituent use, how community members may alter activities to reduce environmental hazard exposure, and how future studies can be designed to meet the needs of environmentally disadvantaged communities.

Funding Program: 
Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 
Publication Name: 
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences

Team Members

Arthur MosesArthur MosesAuthor
Jean McLainJean McLainAuthor
Aminata KilungoAminata KilungoAuthor
Robert RootRobert RootAuthor
Leif AbrellLeif AbrellAuthor
Flor SandovalFlor SandovalAuthor
Theresa FoleyTheresa FoleyAuthor
Miriam JonesMiriam JonesAuthor

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