Reliable water supply is now a top five issue for Arizona voters

Statewide poll reveals support for addressing long-term issues, incentives for efficiency and conservation

November 18, 2013
Contact: 
Chandler Clay, 202-572-3312, cclay@edf.org

PHOENIX – A statewide poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on October 3-7 revealed that ensuring a reliable supply of water is now a top priority for Arizona voters, positioning fifth on a list of important issues, just below jobs and above state spending, taxes and crime. 74 percent of respondents said reliable water supplies are a “serious” or “very serious” concern. 

“It’s clear from the data that Arizona voters take water issues seriously,” said Nicole McCleskey, a Partner at Public Opinion Strategies, one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms. 

The poll of 500 voters was commissioned by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and has a 4.38 percent margin of error.

74 percent of respondents consider diminishing groundwater supply a serious problem throughout the state. Policy proposals focused on incentives received very high levels of support. Voters “strongly supported” incentives to promote water conservation and efficiency at the level of 71 percent for residential use and 64 percent for agriculture. 

The results also revealed significant support for policies that immediately move Arizona toward sustainable water policy.  On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being “most concerning”, voters gave a score of 7.4 to the statement, “We will create a financial burden for ourselves and future generations by mismanaging our water supplies today.” Two-thirds of respondents also strongly supported requiring long-term water supplies in advance of new development.

“Arizona leaders will find a receptive audience when discussing water issues and developing solutions that benefit future generations,” said McCleskey. 

EDF is a leading national environmental organization working to promote market-driven, science-based and collaborative approaches to long-term water policy in the Colorado River Basin states, including Arizona. 

“It’s encouraging to learn that Arizona voters see the importance of addressing long-term water issues in securing the state’s future,” said Kevin Moran, Senior Arizona Advisor to EDF. “The sooner we can implement efficient and cost-effective solutions, the sooner we can avoid financial burdens and improve the reliability of water for Arizonans.”

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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. EDF’s Colorado River Program is engaging business and community leaders, water stakeholders, and the public in the Basin states to improve urban water supply planning and sustainable water management, to ensure a dynamic, sustainable economy, quality of life, healthy river flows and livable communities. EDF has over 19,000 members in Arizona. For more information, visit www.edf.org.

Public Opinion Strategies is the nation’s leading Republican survey research company specializing in political, public affairs, and corporate positioning research.  Its political client base includes 15 U.S. Senators, 6 Governors, more than 70 Members of Congress, and numerous state legislative caucuses. In the last six election cycles, Public Opinion Strategies helped elect more new members to the U.S. Congress than any other polling firm, Democrat or Republican.  Public Opinion Strategies’ research is well respected, which is why prestigious media outlets such as NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio rely on them to conduct their polling.