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Poll: Californians cutting water use

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- With the state in the grip of a severe drought, most Californians are getting anxious over dwindling water supplies and making an effort not to waste a drop, a poll found Wednesday.

A majority of adults in every region of the state considers water supplies a “big problem,” including two of three residents in the Central Valley farming belt, according to the statewide survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California.

“The percentage of Californians saying that water supply is a big problem in their region has reached a new high,” pollster Mark Baldassare said.

“Nearly all state residents say that they are doing something to reduce water use as a response to this historic drought,” he said.

California is suffering through a string of several relatively dry winters, which are typically expected to replenish mountain snow and groundwater.

Gov. Jerry Brown in January declared a drought emergency, and some communities are rationing water.

Farmland is being left fallow, and court rulings have ordered that more water be released from reservoirs to sustain fish species in Northern California's delta.

According to the poll, two of three adults consider water supply a big problem or somewhat of a problem. One in four wasn't worried. But just about everyone -- 92 percent -- said they are trying to conserve.

Fifty percent of likely voters said they would vote in favor of $11 billion in long-term loans, now being considered in the Legislature, to develop state water projects. About one in three said they would oppose the water bonds in an election.

Just over half of adults said passing a water bond for new projects is “very important,” the survey found.

The telephone survey of 1,702 adults, conducted March 11-18, has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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