Decision-Oriented Implementation of Sustainable Development

Empirical Analysis of the Public Water Supply and Waste Water Disposal in the Free State of Saxony

Fachartikel 181



In the empirical study in question, the current situation concerning the public water supply, waste water disposal, and water pollution prevention in Saxony with regard to the decision makers' knowledge of and approach towards "sustainable development" and its implementation is dealt with. Important results of the study are: · A comprehensive and uniform familiarity with the term and the contents of "sustainable development" is not present on all relevant decision-making levels. · The main area of activity of an institution influences its familiarity with the term "sustainable development." If the main area of activity of an institution lies in the field of water supply or water pollution prevention, familiarity with the term is greater. · Familiarity with the term "sustainable development" depends on the size of the respective institution with regard to the number of residents that it is responsible for supplying and the number of employees working for it. In larger institutions, familiarity with the term is more widespread. · The fact that many institutions are more committed ecologically and socially shows the fundamental possibility of incorporating these goals. Nevertheless, economic goals are given the highest practical importance, because of their limiting effects with regard to implementation of goals and decisions. · The significance of economic goals depends on the type of institution. In private-sector and public businesses they tend to have the greatest significance. For ecological and social goals, such dependence cannot be proved. · The greatest problems perceived in making "sustainable development" materialize depend on the type of institution. Whereas communities see such problems equally for all goals, economic and social goals are what cause problems for special purpose associations. In all other types of institutions such problems exist primarily for economic goals. · The organizational form influences the effects with regard to sustainable development. Possible privatization in various forms therefore should always be judged by the resulting effects on "sustainable development.

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