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Poll: Drought Seizes California's Attention

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A new poll shows deep concern among Californians over the state’s drought and future water supply.

The Public Policy Institute of California survey shows two-thirds of adults believe the water supply in their region is a big problem. The same percentage also say people where they live aren’t doing enough to respond to the drought. And Californians are just as likely to name the drought as the state’s most urgent issue as they are to cite the economy.

The PPIC’s Mark Baldassare says last year, Californians viewed the drought as an immediate crisis. “And now,” he says, “people are thinking about it more as a long-term crisis – something that they don’t just need to be thinking about, how do I get through this year, but beginning to wonder about whether this is something that could be with us for a very long time.”

Baldassare says the percentage of Californians who believe their region’s water supply will be “very inadequate” in 10 years has jumped by 12 points in the last year. It’s now at 43 percent.

The PPIC poll also found that two-thirds of Californians say road and highway conditions are at least “somewhat of a problem.” But less than a quarter favor higher gas taxes or vehicle registration fees to pay for improvements.


Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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