Capitol Alert

Poll: Californians say their neighbors could do more to conserve water

File photo of a sprinkler.
File photo of a sprinkler.

In the fourth year of drought, Californians overwhelmingly believe people in their regions aren’t doing enough to conserve and think the water supply in their area is a major problem, according to a new poll released late Wednesday.

The Public Policy Institute of California survey found that two-thirds of adults describe the regional water supply as a big problem, with Central Valley residents, at 76 percent, most likely to feel that way. Two-thirds of Californians believe others in their regions are falling short in their responses to the drought.

Water and the drought was identified along with jobs and the economy as the top issues facing Californians. On Wednesday, the California State Senate approved a $1.1 billion drought relief package that relies mostly on already approved funds.

“The ongoing drought is raising concerns about the long-term water supply,” Mark Baldassare, the president and chief executive of PPIC, said in a statement. “Most Californians think their neighbors could be doing more to save water today.”

These are among other findings of the poll:

  • ▪ On the condition of roads, highways and bridges, 34 percent say it is a big problem in their regions.
  • ▪ Majorities report that spending more on roads is very important. Still, they are divided on how to raise the needed money.
  • ▪ Only 18 percent think it’s wise to increase the state portion of the gas tax; 23 percent support raising vehicle registration fees; and 47 percent want to float bonds funded by the state’s general fund.
  • ▪ Californians are nearly evenly divided on high-speed rail, with 47 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed.
  • ▪ 51 percent of state residents and 48 percent of likely voters support extending temporary Proposition 30 sales and income tax increases.
  • ▪ But just 35 percent of residents and 32 percent of likely voters want to make the tax hike extension permanent.
  • ▪ 53 percent of residents believe marijuana should be legal, and 45 percent say it shouldn’t, its highest point since the question was first posed in 2010.
  • ▪ 55 percent of likely voters favor pot legalization, an issue that could appear on the 2016 ballot.

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.

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