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Water Is A Serious Issue For Many California Residents

Motorists pass a sign on Highway 50 in Sacramento County's Rancho Cordova reminding them to reduce water use due to the statewide drought, April 2, 2015.
Associated Press
Motorists pass a sign on Highway 50 in Sacramento County's Rancho Cordova reminding them to reduce water use due to the statewide drought, April 2, 2015.

Water Is A Serious Issue For Many California Residents
Water is the most worrisome issue facing California residents, and concern about water tops worries about the economy for the first time in a new poll.

California's drought is the most pressing issue facing the state's residents, according to the latest Public Policy Institute of California survey.

Drought has been steadily moving up as an area of concern.

PPIC president Mark Baldassare said drought pulled even with the economy as the state's most pressing issue in the April survey and pulled above the economy in the May survey. Only 12 percent of people questioned a year ago thought water was the state's most pressing worry. That was up to 39 percent in the current poll.

"For the first time in the history of our poll, water and drought is the most important problem facing the state. And record numbers of Californians are saying that the supply of water is a big problem," Baldassare said.

Nearly half of those questioned find Gov. Jerry Brown's water restrictions the right response to the drought with 12 percent who thought the new rules aren't strict enough and 36 percent said California residents can do more.

"That really reflects the fact that there are great concerns out there about this drought. And maybe people are not yet knowing about what the impacts of these restrictions are going to mean," Baldassare said.

The survey found that while drought was the most frequently mentioned issue in all of California's regions, it was mentioned the most in the Central Valley. That's home to many of the state's farms.