Californians' drought tactics: hasty showers and demi-flush

Jake GammonHead of Omnibus, US
May 06, 2015, 3:35 PM GMT+0

Californians know they have a problem.

96% of Californians surveyed are aware of the drought that has been plaguing the state for the last three years. And they don’t think it will be short lived. More than a third (34%) think this drought is going to last another two years or more.

They are pragmatic about the causes; 37% attribute it to nothing more than natural weather patterns, 32% think it is due to global warming.

Californians are also clear about the culprits 75% think that agriculture is the in the top three highest water users, followed by industry (56%) and residential use (49%). However, the majority still support the use of water for agriculture. 54% think agricultural users should have priority over residential users.

Most Californians (65%) think that the top three worst aspects of the drought include increased food prices and the economic impact on farm owners (56%). Only 9% think ruined lawns are the worst aspect of drought devastation.

Californians don’t hate almonds.

The much-vilified almond gets a pass from the locals. Only 9% would consider closing down almond groves in response to the drought. The most popular response to the drought is investment in desalination (63%) and mandatory drip irrigation for more efficient water usage (46%).

Around a third of Californians (31%) would also ban the building of new swimming pools while around a quarter would ban filling private pools (26%) and private lawn watering (24%). Lower earners are more likely to support swimming pool and lawn bans than higher income Californians.

66% of state residents feel that they have been affected by the mandatory water restrictions.

Less water in the bathroom

Individual efforts to beat the drought are mainly focused around the bathroom. 68% of Californians claim to be taking shorter showers, while 65% are turning off the water while they brush their teeth. More than a quarter (28%) is using a half flush toilet.

Gardens are in for another tough year. Half (51%) of Californians are watering their lawns and gardens less frequently and 23% are giving in to the inevitable and planting drought tolerant landscaping.

Jerry Brown gets support

Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, mostly has the support of his state; 60% think that he is doing enough to address the drought situation - the federal government, however, much less so, at only 23%.

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Image courtesy of Press Association

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