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Poll: Arizona Voters Say Water, Climate Change Major Concerns

Arizona distributes drinking water though hundreds of miles of canals from the Colorado River basin. (Wikimedia Commons)
Arizona distributes drinking water though hundreds of miles of canals from the Colorado River basin. (Wikimedia Commons)
February 4, 2019

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Arizona voters expressed strong opinions in a new poll on such issues as climate change, protecting public lands and outdoor recreation.

In the ninth annual Conservation in the West Poll from Colorado College, two-thirds of voters polled in eight Western states identified themselves as conservationists, and strongly endorsed policies that protect land, water and wildlife.

Pollster Dave Metz says a majority of Arizonans want more government action to deal with climate change.

"We have been seeing in a lot of research that over the course of the last couple of years, concern about climate change is rising pretty dramatically – five or 10 points over the course of just the last couple of years – in both national survey data and in a variety of state surveys," Metz states.

Two-thirds of Arizona voters in the poll said they want the new Congress to place more emphasis on protecting water, air quality and wildlife habitat, while also protecting recreation opportunities on public lands.

Two-thirds believe wildfires in the West are a bigger problem now than 10 years ago.

About 64 percent of the Arizonans polled consider themselves outdoor recreation enthusiasts, and 84 percent see the state's outdoor recreation economy as important. Eighty-two percent want the state to protect and restore the health of rivers, lakes, and streams.

Pollster Lori Weigel says voters in other states also backed more funding to develop the region's increasingly scarce water supplies.

"We can see that two-thirds felt that water supplies in the West are becoming more unpredictable every single year, rather than just about one in four saying they felt like it's something you could pretty much count on over time," she points out

The annual Conservation in the West Poll is a bipartisan survey conducted by both Republican and Democratic Party polling firms for Colorado College. They surveyed at least 400 registered voters in each of eight Western states.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ