Drought is no reason to ease environmental protections, California voters say

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After four parched years, most California voters seem to be taking the drought in stride, saying it has had little to no effect on their daily lives. They oppose sacrificing environmental protections to expand water supplies and generally approve of how Gov. Jerry Brown has handled the crisis, according to a new statewide USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. While a majority of respondents opposed easing environmental restrictions, voters strongly favored other approaches to boosting supplies, such as water recycling, capturing storm runoff and increasing groundwater storage.

The poll results suggest that California has proved remarkably resilient during one of the worst droughts on record — one that prompted Brown to impose the state's first-ever mandatory restrictions on urban water use.

The mandate this spring didn't hurt Brown. Approval ratings of his handling of the drought rose to 50% from 39% in May 2014.

After four parched years, most California voters seem to be taking the drought in stride, saying it has had little to no effect on their daily lives. They oppose sacrificing environmental protections to expand water supplies and generally approve of how Gov. Jerry Brown has handled the crisis, according to a new statewide USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

While a majority of respondents opposed easing environmental restrictions, voters strongly favored other approaches to boosting supplies, such as water recycling, capturing storm runoff and increasing groundwater storage.

The poll results suggest that California has proved remarkably resilient during one of the worst droughts on record — one that prompted Brown to impose the state's first-ever mandatory restrictions on urban water use.

The mandate this spring didn't hurt Brown. Approval ratings of his handling of the drought rose to 50% from 39% in May 2014.

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll, conducted by telephone Aug. 29-Sept. 8, found that a vast majority of California voters consider the drought a crisis or major problem. Yet despite brown lawns, idled cropland and plummeting reservoir levels, only 35% said their daily lives had been seriously affected.

They spread around the blame for the state's water supply problems: Foremost, they cited a lack of rain and snow, followed by old delivery systems and insufficient storage, people using too much water, growth, climate change, environmental regulations and agricultural use.

Read more at latimes.com

Chris Alexakiswater, environment