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Private groundwater supply management as a response to flooding events: Perceptions of Irish well owners
de Andrade, Luisa A.
McDowell, Cillian P.
Hynds, Paul D.
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Over 720,000 people in the Republic of Ireland rely on private groundwater resources (i.e. private wells) for daily consumption, and as these extractions are unregulated, users are solely responsible for managing/mitigating contamination risks to their supplies. However, low levels of exposure to appropriate guidance on well water protection and ongoing maintenance are not uncommon, particularly regarding responses to sporadic environmental threats, such as significant flooding. Despite this, very little is known regarding the factors leading to (or inhibiting) preparedness among groundwater-reliant individuals in the context of health threats triggered by flooding events. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to bridge this knowledge gap and explore current behaviours, knowledge, risk perception, and experience relating to this issue in the Irish context. This was attempted via a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including a nation-wide online survey with 405 Irish well owners and six localized focus group meetings. Results show the need to go beyond knowledge-based interventions, and use socio-hydrogeological and/or socio-epidemiological approaches to target risk perception and potential structural constraints as a mean to turn protective intentions into protective actions when dealing with adverse effects of sporadic natural events, particularly in a changing climate.
Flooding , Focus group , Health behaviour , Preparedness , Private wells , Survey
de Andrade, Luisa A., McDowell, C. P., O'Dwyer, J., O'Neill, E., Mooney, S. and Hynds, P. D. (2021) 'Private groundwater supply management as a response to flooding events: Perceptions of Irish well owners', in Abrunhosa, M., Chambel, A., Peppoloni, S. and Chaminé, H. I. (eds) Advances in Geoethics and Groundwater Management: Theory and Practice for a Sustainable Development. Advances in Science, Technology and Innovation, pp. 409-412. Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-59320-9_86
© 2021, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of a chapter published in Abrunhosa, M., Chambel, A., Peppoloni, S. and Chaminé, H. I. (eds) Advances in Geoethics and Groundwater Management: Theory and Practice for a Sustainable Development. Advances in Science, Technology and Innovation. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59320-9_86