Wednesday, October 5, 2022

A research fellow at the University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center has published a book on Americans’ distrust of the government when it comes to drinking water.

In The Profits of Distrust: Citizen-Consumers, Drinking Water, and the Crisis of Confidence in American Government, Samantha Zuhlke and co-authors Manuel P. Teodoro and David Switzer examine why consumers choose expensive bottled water over cheaper, rigorously regulated tap water. The book draws on public opinion, consumer behavior, political participation, geography, and water quality to show how failing basic services cause consumers to abandon government in favor of commercial competitors that provide environmentally destructive bottled water.

Zuhlke is an assistant professor in the School of Planning and Public Affairs and a research fellow in the Environmental Policy Research Program.