Survey finds that majority of the Californians find water shortage “extremely serious” and “somewhat serious”
According to a recent survey, the majority of Californians consider the drought to be severe.
In a survey conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, more than 9,000 voters from around the state participated. 71% of respondents thought the water crisis in California is “very serious,” while 23% said it is “somewhat serious.”
9 percent of respondents claimed they and their families had been “greatly” affected by the current drought, while 32 percent said they have been “slightly” affected. Fifty-seven percent of respondents stated they have been affected “just somewhat” or not at all.
In 2015, a comparable survey revealed that 58% of respondents were at least moderately affected by the drought, while 76% considered it to be extremely severe.
“What’s striking to me is that it’s not really directly affecting as many voters as you might think,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley IGS poll. During this drought, he said, the water shortage “really hasn’t been as broadly felt by voters, at least not up to this point.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, while the 2012-2016 drought was at its zenith, then-Governor Jerry Brown (D) enforced a 25 percent reduction in water usage throughout the state. This time around, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has requested Californians to reduce their water consumption by 15% and has given local water sources greater alternatives for conserving water.
In Los Angeles County, outdoor water consumption has been subject to stringent water restrictions.
According to USA Today, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which operates in some of Southern California’s richest regions, including Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, and parts of Malibu, is the primary organization responsible for enforcing restrictions in the region.
The EPA has already begun installing flow restrictors on the residences of heavy water users. The devices cut off the water supply to the exterior and restrict the amount of water that may be utilized within a residence. Infringers can have their names removed from the list prior to having a water restriction placed on their home if they sign a form and reduce their water consumption.
44% of L.A. County voters said compliance has been simple, while 13% said it has been difficult. 72% of respondents, however, stated they are doing all possible to reduce water consumption.
While city dwellers may not be affected by the drought, farmers are struggling due to the shortage of water. In recent years, many farmers have kept their land fallow, or uncultivated, while deciding which crops to grow. The scenario might even force small family farmers to abandon the region and go elsewhere.
In the San Joaquin Valley, where farmers are struggling, 18% of respondents indicated they had been “very” affected by the drought, the highest percentage of any region in the state.