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Nearly Seven in Ten Say the Water Supply Is a Big Problem in Their Part of the State

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CVV News-Posted: July 28, 2022

Amid an ongoing drought, nearly seven in ten Californians say the water supply is a big problem in their part of the state. More than half of Californians say higher gas prices have been a financial hardship, but a strong majority is opposed to oil drilling off the California coast. More than seven in ten say alternative energy sources should be prioritized over fossil fuels in the nation’s energy supply; unlike a year ago, views on this question are split along party lines. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California.

(Note: As a companion to the new survey, PPIC is publishing a blog post by president and CEO Mark Baldassare, “Anxious California Voters Will Weigh In on Climate Policy this Fall.”

Sixty-eight percent of Californians say the water supply is a big problem in their part of the state. This share is up slightly from a year ago (63%), has increased 30 points since July 2020 (38% to 68%), and is near the record high of 70% (September 2015). The share of residents saying water supply is a big problem varies across regions (76% Inland Empire, 70% Los Angeles, 66% San Francisco Bay Area, 65% Central Valley, 64% Orange/San Diego.)

Thirty percent of Californians name water supply and drought as the most important environmental issue facing the state. Wildfires (13%) and climate change (11%) are the only other top issues named by double-digit shares.

“Californians name water supply and drought, followed by wildfires and climate change, as the most important environmental issue facing the state,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Nearly seven in ten say that the supply of water is a big problem in their part of California.”

The new statewide survey also finds:

About the Survey

The Californians and the Environment survey is supported with funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation.

The findings presented above are based on responses from 1,648 California adult residents. The sampling error is ±3.4 percent for the total unweighted sample and ±4.1 percent for the 1,132 likely voters. Interviewing took place from July 8–15, 2022. For more information, please see the methodology section in the full survey report.

Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has directed since 1998.

The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. We are a public charity. We do not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor do we endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of our funders or of the staff, officers, advisory councils, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California.

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