A majority of Floridians believe farmers are using water the right way, according to a survey by the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Nearly 90 percent of state residents agreed or strongly agreed that farmers are concerned about water when making decisions. Almost 80 percent thought farmers used sound reasoning when making decisions about water.

Local government officials, however, weren’t quite as trustful. Only 36 percent of policymakers said valid principles guided farmers’ behaviors with water use, and 54 percent agreed or strongly agreed that farmers felt concerned about water when making decisions. Overall, local government officials were more confident in the quantity and quality of Florida’s water supplies.

More than 70 percent of policymakers were highly or extremely confident in the quality of tap water in their home, compared to 42 percent of the public. The public, however, felt stronger about the quality of Florida’s lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Even though 69 percent of residents agreed that farmers can be relied upon to keep their promises when it comes to water, more than half said that farmers should be watched closely so they don’t take advantage of water resources.

For more information, and to view other survey results, visit the PIE Center at http://www.centerpie.com/.