Poll: Californians strongly support seawater desalination

May 5, 2017
Support for water desalination in California is apparent across every key demographic group in the state. 
The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, Calif., produces approximately 10% of the San Diego region's water supply.

CALIFORNIA, MAY 5, 2017 -- Nine out of ten voters polled in California favor desalination efforts and 78% of surveyed voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for elected office who supports seawater desalination, a new statewide poll released by Tulchin Research revealed.

The strong preference for a candidate who supports funding water desalination plants holds across both partisan and regional lines.

"Very few issues show such overwhelming support as does desalination in California," said Ben Tulchin, President of Tulchin Research. "Elected officials and candidates for elected office should certainly take note that their constituents clearly want seawater desalination as a source of drinking water in the state."

The poll, commissioned by the William C. Velasquez Institute, found that support for water desalination in California is apparent across every key demographic group in the state. The poll surveyed 500 likely voters during the four-day period, April 20-24

Specifically, the poll found:
· 94% of men and 87% of women in favor desalination
· Democrats (90%), Republicans (92%), and independents (89%) all in favor of desalination efforts
· A solid majority of voters in every region of the state favors water desalination, including voters in Sacramento/North State and the Central Valley (93% favor in both regions) followed by voters in the Bay Area (91%), the L.A. area (90%), L.A. County (89%) and San Diego (85%)
· There is also strong support for desalination efforts among every ethnic group in the state, including Caucasian and Asian voters (91%), Latinos (90%), and African Americans (81%)
· Voters under age 50 (92%) and over age 50 (89%) favor desalination at nearly equally high levels.

"The results of this survey add to the mounting evidence that the majority of the state is in favor of desalination as a way to provide a secure source of drinking water for our communities," said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute.

In addition, voters also overwhelmingly support (87%) paying a few dollars more a month for desalinated water in the short term. When presented arguments from both sides of the debate, respondents favored desalination at 78%.

The survey was commissioned by the William C. Velasquez Institute in Los Angeles, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts research aimed at improving the level of political and economic participation in Latino and other underrepresented communities.

Source: ACWA.

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