Attitudes on Water Conservation: ACWA Releases Statewide Public Attitude Survey

As California enters a fourth year of drought, a new statewide poll reveals that the vast majority of Californians – some 90 percent – are willing to make significant changes to conserve water both inside and out, and more than 80 percent believe it’s important to conserve water regardless of whether the state is in drought or whether conservation is mandated by local water agencies.

The statewide poll of 801 registered voters – commissioned by the Association of California Water Agencies in partnership with the statewide conservation education program Save Our Water – also found that more than 80 percent of Californians view the drought and water shortages as “extremely” or “very” serious problems. Some 86 percent of polled residents believe that California is in a state of persistent water shortage.

  • A summary of the poll’s findings is here.
  • A press release on the findings is here.

The polling also indicates that Californians nearly universally agree that the drought is the most pressing problem facing the state and is more concerning than the economy, education, health care costs and taxes.

The poll of registered voters was conducted Feb. 22 – March 1 by the polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, or FM3. Its findings arrive as the State Water Resources Control Board prepares to act on proposed new emergency water conservation regulations today and extend existing ones as the state remains locked in a grinding fourth year of drought. The Sierra snowpack is at record low levels and January was among the driest months on record.

The Save Our Water program is using the poll’s findings to improve outreach to consumers this summer and to help local water agencies develop their own outreach programs on drought and conservation.

For more on the Save Our Water program, visit

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