A Lincoln University survey sugggests New Zealanders see water pollution as one of the most important environmental issues.
The university's biennial survey has been carried out since 2000, and covers a variety of topics including the quality of air, fresh water and beaches.
It asks people about their perceptions of different environmental areas and how this country is doing in comparison with others.
Environmental Management professor Ken Hughey says 24% of the 2000 participants in the latest survey thought water pollution was the most important issue.
He says people believe the agricultural sector is one of the main industries responsible for polluting the waterways, and says scientific research backs up that perception.