SACRAMENTO, Calif — A new Public Policy Institute of California survey is showing just how concerned Californians are about the state's growing drought.
One in four people polled in the state said water supply and drought were their top environmental concerns right now. Also topping the list were wildfires, climate change, air pollution and vehicle emissions. This is a shift from last year, when most people ranked climate change as the top concern.
The impacts of climate change on wildfire and drought though are still a top concern for a majority of people. In fact, 80% say that climate change has contributed to the current drought, and 78% say climate change has contributed to California's recent wildfires.
As the state heads deeper into the dry season and reservoirs get near historic lows, 63% say water supply is a real concern in their area. It’s no surprise when we look at the latest release of the Drought Monitor.
The most critical category, exceptional drought, expanded through the Central Valley. This is home to nearly all of the 10 largest agricultural counties in the state. No water could mean less or no food production on some of this land.
The next rainy season is when we might see relief. The rainy season is now statistically starting later in November and in some places not until December.