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Is the New Field Poll Good for Farmers?

It doesn't really matter what the polls say as long as voters keep electing the same people.

Mar 04, 2015

“There is greater concern now than there has ever been about the state’s water shortage,” said Mark DiCamillo, the Field Poll director. - San Francisco Chronicle

94% - percentage of people who describe the drought situation as serious.

68% - percentage who describe the drought as extremely serious.

50% - believe farmers and residents should be able to bypass environmental regulations in the delta during dry years.

Even though there is growing support for more storage and loosening environmental regulations in the state, elected officials don't agree, and it doesn't really matter what the polls say as long as voters keep electing the same people.

Polls say Californians are against high-speed rail, but it doesn't matter. Polls say the people are against the giant twin tunnels project, but planning continues. The big projects that Jerry Brown supports aren't favored by voters, but they elected him again and his poll numbers are high.

The fact of the matter is that even if people don't like these things we've mentioned, they do appear to like other things that must be more important to them. They are willing to live with these things they don't like as long as the government gives them things they do like.

And we all know the government of California gives people a lot of stuff they like. If you buy enough people off, you can evidently shove a lot of other stuff down their throats. Welcome to California. By the way, the answer to the question "Is the Field Poll Good for Farmers?" No, it doesn't matter.

 

Californians growing more concerned about drought, poll finds


San Francisco Chronicle


Peter Fimrite


Dread over the water shortage in California has grown to the point that at least half the state’s residents are willing to relax environmental regulations and allow construction of water supply facilities in federal parkland, a statewide Field Poll has revealed.


The paltry rain and snow this winter is considered a serious problem by the vast majority of Californians, but not everybody agrees on what should be done about it, according to the telephone survey of 1,241 registered voters.


More people — 43 percent — do not believe California has enough water storage or supply facilities to meet the needs of the populace.


“There is greater concern now than there has ever been about the state’s water shortage,” said Mark DiCamillo, the Field Poll director. “Public concern is continuing to go up on this issue.”


The poll comes as the state moves headlong into a fourth year of drought. The entire state has consistently seen warmer-than-usual temperatures and less-than-normal amounts of rain and snow. The snowpack in the Sierra is at 19 percent of normal for this time of year, a bad sign considering that the snowmelt in the spring provides California with more than 60 percent of its water supply.


The severity of the situation is not lost on the citizens, 94 percent of whom described the situation as serious. Of those, 68 percent statewide said the water shortage problem is “extremely serious,” according to the poll. The number of concerned citizens was even higher in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, where 74 percent called it an extremely serious problem, the highest percentage in the state.


There is also growing concern about the state’s water storage facilities and supply channels, according to the poll. Only 48 percent of the state’s voters believe California’s storage and supply facilities are adequate to meet the needs of the state, with 10 percent saying they are “more than adequate.”


The 43 percent who do not believe there is enough storage or infrastructure in the state to serve the public far outpaces the 24 percent of residents who felt that way in the 1980s, according the the poll.


Half the residents polled believe farmers and residents should be able to bypass environmental regulations protecting fish in San Francisco Bay and in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta during dry years. Sixty-one percent of residents in the Central Valley, the primary agricultural region in California, agreed that regulations should be bypassed.


Residents in the Bay Area were the most adamantly opposed to skirting environmental regulations, with 33 percent agreeing and 64 percent disagreeing with the suggestion.


Similarly, 51 percent of California residents believe prohibitions against the development of new water storage and supply facilities in government parkland and forests should be relaxed. The Central Valley had the highest percentage, with 58 percent agreeing that restrictions should be relaxed. The Bay Area was against that notion, with 40 percent agreeing and 44 percent disagreeing.


However bad things have gotten, California voters aren’t yet willing to support mandatory rationing. Only 34 percent supported water rationing, with 61 percent saying voluntary cutbacks are the way to go.


The survey, taken between Jan. 26 and Feb. 16, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.


Peter Fimrite is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: pfimrite@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @pfimrite

Continued drought creates worries, poll finds: “In what could be a fourth year of drought, virtually all Californians say the state’s water situation is serious — but the majority still favors voluntary rather than mandatory restrictions, a new Field Poll released Thursday found. They are concerned about water storage and supply, the poll found, an opinion reflected in passage of last November’s Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion bond measure for new water projects. … ” Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Continued drought creates worries, poll finds


 

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