Lawn sprinklers
Sprinklers watering a Southern California lawn. Courtesy Metropolitan Water District

A new poll of San Diego County residents finds that nearly two-thirds believe they can do more to conserve water during California’s record drought.

The poll commissioned by the San Diego County Water Authority found that 88% feel they have a civic duty to use water efficiently and 66% say they can do “a little more” or “much more” to conserve.

“San Diego County residents appreciate the importance of a safe and reliable water supply, and they are taking actions to ensure the long-term reliability of the water supply,” said Water Authority Board Chair Gary Croucher.

“They also recognize they can do more to cut back through a variety of actions like washing full loads of dishes, fixing leaks, and purchasing efficient toilets and shower heads,” he said. “In addition, the survey shows there are still numerous landscapes that can be upgraded with low-water plants and more efficient irrigation technology.”

When asked about a series of water-conservation actions, residents were most likely to have fixed drips and leaks in a timely manner (82%), made a practice of running the dishwasher or laundry only when full (81%), reduced the amount of water used when taking showers, washing dishes, or brushing teeth (78%), and watered plants or landscapes less frequently (64%).

Nearly 80% of those polled said they were concerned about the drought, but expressed more confidence in the county’s water supplies than they did about conditions across the entire state.

The poll showed significant support for discounted water services for qualified low-income households with 67% saying they would back such a program.

The survey of 889 adults was conducted by Encinitas-based True North Research from July 7 to 21. The margin of error for the poll is 3.3%. Full poll results and cross-tabulations are available online.



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Ellen Bullock