In response to California’s worst drought on record, an overwhelming majority of voters favor strategies to stretch local water supplies, including recycling, rainwater harvesting, and efficiency measures, according to a new poll conducted on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
By a margin of 74% to 17%, Californians think the best way to deal with the drought is to develop local supplies of water rather than expand water imports. Furthermore, 77% of voters would be willing to pay more on their water bill in order to increase sustainable local water supplies.
“The public is ready to support workable measures to tap sustainable local water supplies and use all water more efficiently,” said Steve Fleischli, NRDC water program director. “The current drought is but a preview of conditions that will become increasingly common with a changing climate. Californians expect action and view local supplies and greater water efficiency as the top priorities.”
The poll also found that a very strong majority of Californians support – and are willing to pay for – a range of local water resiliency efforts:
- 74% say cleaning up locally contaminated groundwater is a very important water supply solution and 71% would pay more on their water bill for it.
- 71% say investing in new water efficiency technologies is a very important water supply solution and 75% would pay more on their water bill for it.
- 69% say capturing rainwater for local use is a very important water supply solution and 74% would pay more on their water bill for it.
- 64% say building local water recycling plants is a very important water supply solution and 74% would pay more on their water bill for it.
The survey was conducted from February 1-9, 2014 by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. It included 1,000 telephone interviews with California voters likely to cast ballots in November 2014. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.1%.