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Conservation Poll: Nevadans Very Concerned About Drought

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016   

LAS VEGAS - Nevadans are highly concerned about the drought; 72 percent say it is extremely or very serious according to the new 2016 Conservation in the West poll by Colorado College.

Residents ranked drought higher in importance than voters from six other western states did. The poll found 68 percent of Nevadans support additional conservation measures over diversion of water from rivers in less populated areas. State Assemblyman Edgar Flores says much of the problem could be solved if people used water wisely.

"It's a everybody coming to the table type of issue," Flores says. "And not just looking at how are we going to find more water, but 'What am I doing to making sure that the water we do have, we're preserving it and utilizing it in the most efficient manner.'"

Nevada is the driest state in the nation, with the lowest annual rainfall. The state has received $1.8 million in federal funding to implement the "Water Smart" conservation program.

The poll also asked people about public land and found a majority in the Silver State oppose efforts to transfer federal land to state control.

Mauricia Baca is executive director with the Outside Las Vegas Foundation.

"Whenever people discover these recreational opportunities they become more and more deeply connected to Nevada as a state," says Baca. "If it were to transfer to a different sort of control where perhaps it was more privatized, that access would be restricted."

The poll also found that more than three quarters of Nevadans say conservation is important when choosing political candidates, and 72 percent support continuing investment in the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


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