New Global Public Opinion Survey Finds Water Issues Are the Top Environmental Concern Worldwide

    Water pollution and shortage of fresh water emerge as most important
    water-related issues

    STOCKHOLM, Aug. 18 /CNW/ -- A comprehensive global public opinion survey
on attitudes about fresh water sustainability, management and conservation
finds that people around the world view water issues as the planet's top
environmental problem, greater than air pollution, depletion of natural
resources, loss of habitat and climate change.

    The poll surveyed 1,000 people in each of 15 countries, and probed 500 in
each of the following countries on specific questions: Canada, China, India,
Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The results were
released today in Stockholm as part of World Water Week. The independent
survey was commissioned by Circle of Blue, the Michigan-based international
network of leading journalists, scientists and communicators focused on global
water issues. Molson Coors Brewing Company  (NYSE:   TAP) supported the
research, which was conducted by GlobeScan, a global survey research firm.

    A close look at the results shows that people around the world view water
pollution as the most important facet of the fresh water crisis, and that
shortages of fresh water are very close behind. Across the 15 countries

    --  93 percent say water pollution is a very serious (72 percent) or
        somewhat serious (21 percent) problem.

    --  91 percent believe that a shortage of fresh water is a very serious
        percent) or somewhat serious (20 percent) problem.

    Across the seven focus countries:
    --  Government is considered among the most responsible for ensuring clean
    --  78 percent say "solving drinking water problems will require
        significant help from companies," indicating that partnerships are an
        important component to resolving the world's fresh water

    --  76 percent say "I need more information to be able to do more to
        protect water."

    While people around the world agree on the importance of the issue, some
key differences between the countries surveyed support the idea that solutions
will have to be carefully tailored to local conditions:

    --  Across the seven countries surveyed, people in Mexico are the most
        concerned about "lack of water for agriculture" (75 percent are very
        concerned). People in India are most concerned about "the high cost of
        water" (60 percent) compared to other countries.
    --  People in Mexico express the most urgency about the severity of the
        pollution and water scarcity issues they face, but also the most
        optimism about their ability to solve the problems.

    --  In all countries, more than half of those surveyed agree that
        government is responsible for ensuring clean water. When asked whether
        individual citizens are responsible, however, responses vary widely by
        country, from a high of 76 percent in Mexico to a low of 30 percent in

    "This research shows that across the globe, concerns about water are
reaching a critical level of public consciousness," said J. Carl Ganter,
Circle of Blue co-founder and director. "People think water is the most
important environmental concern, in many cases more pressing than climate
change. It's the axis issue that intersects the world's greatest challenges,
from health, poverty and security to climate, immigration and environment,
even financial and commodities markets."

    "We're very proud to sponsor this important research providing the first
substantive global benchmark for civic engagement on fresh water issues," said
Peter Swinburn, CEO of Molson Coors. "As a brewer, Molson Coors has always
been aware of the importance of water. We will continue to be an active
guardian of the watersheds within our local communities and an enthusiastic
participant in the global conversation."

    Chris Coulter, vice president of GlobeScan said, "This research confirms
the general public's awareness and understanding of water as a critical
resource, as well as the importance of conserving and protecting fresh water
supplies through stewardship. From locale to locale, the angles of most
concern may vary, but the concern about water issues is pressing, virtually

    More than five million people die each year due to a lack of safe
drinking water, and the United Nations estimates that 5.5 billion people will
lack adequate access to fresh water in the next 20 years. Water scarcity and
threats to water quality have emerged as serious threats to people and
businesses around the world.

    Full survey results, including photos, interactive maps, and detail for
each of the seven featured countries, are available at Daily reports on the world's water
issues are available at Circle of Blue WaterNews.

    Molson Coors' online press kit on the survey results is available at For more information about Molson Coors and its
global responsibility strategy, visit The more we listen, the more we
learn. Tell us if you think we have our priorities right, and let us know
where you think we can do better. Please give us your feedback.

    About Circle of Blue
    Circle of Blue is the international nonprofit network of leading
journalists, scientists and communications design experts that reports and
presents the information necessary to respond to the global fresh water
crisis. It is an affiliate of the internationally recognized water, climate
and policy think tank, the Pacific Institute. Circle of Blue publishes
WaterNews, the daily go-to source for global water news and data. It is also
the co-founder of the global initiative, Designing Water's Future, a
partnership with Collins: Transformative Design, AIGA and INDEX.  Circle of
Blue practices non-advocacy journalism and science, striving to report issues
to the highest standards of journalistic and scientific ethics. For more
information, visit the Circle of Blue Web site,

    About GlobeScan
    GlobeScan Incorporated is a global survey research firm providing
strategic advice to companies, multilateral institutions, governments and
NGOs, on reputation, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. GlobeScan
is a world leader in conducting comprehensive survey research in all regions
of the world amongst general publics and stakeholders.

    About Molson Coors Brewing Company
    Molson Coors Brewing Company is one of the world's largest brewers. It
brews, markets and sells a portfolio of leading premium quality brands such as
Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Molson Dry, Carling, Coors, and Keystone Light
in the U.S., Canada, the UK and more than 30 countries in North America,
Europe and Asia. In the U.S., Molson Coors shares ownership in the market's
second-largest brewing company, MillerCoors, through a joint venture. For more
information, visit the company's Web site,


For further information:

For further information: J. Carl Ganter of Circle of Blue,
+1-231-649-3210, ext. 110,; or Oliver Martin of
GlobeScan, +1-416-969-3073, mobile, +1-416-721-3544,; or Colin Wheeler of Molson Coors,
+1-303-927-2443, Web Site:              

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