“Arizonans believe urgent action is needed to ensure a stable water supply now and in the future and they want to see that same sense of urgency from state leaders,” said Moira Mcdonald, Environment Program Director of the Walton Family Foundation. “Arizona is contemplating an historic $1 billion investment in water-related issues. This kind of funding can make a critical difference, but only if state leaders act quickly to prioritize the kinds of conservation and restoration projects that can have a long-term and large-scale impact.”
Since Jan. 1, Arizona is receiving nearly 20% less water from the Colorado River (the state’s primary water source) due to long-standing drought and climate change. The United States Department of Interior also announced this week it would reduce the amount of water released from Lake Powell to Arizona, California, and Nevada by 480,000 acre-feet – an amount equivalent to the water used by 1 million U.S. households for a year. These cuts come as the West faces the driest two decades the region has seen in the last 1,200 years.
The immediate impact of the drought and these dramatic cuts to the available water supply is felt most severely by Arizona farmers, but creates a ripple affecting the entire state economy. Eighty-four percent of Arizonans believe substantial investments in water conservation are key to the state’s economic well-being for the next five years.
Poll results showed Arizona voters want to see the Arizona State Legislature prioritize funding for conservation, restoration and reuse and recycling projects over other potential funding options.
Issues selected in order of priority:
- Conservation projects that will protect water reserves available in Lake Powell and Lake Mead (35%);
- Restoration projects that will improve river and stream flows to maximize available water resources (33%);
- Local water reuse and recycling projects (33%);
- Agricultural water conservation strategies (20%);
- Preventing new industrial users from depleting water supplies (20%);
- New large-scale infrastructure to import and treat water from Mexico (19%).
To read the full poll results, visit New Poll: Arizona Voters Want Action.
This poll was conducted between April 25 – April 27, 2022 among a sample of 423 Registered Voters in Arizona. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of Registered Voters based on gender by age, educational attainment, race, marital status, home ownership, race by educational attainment, and 2020 presidential vote. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
The Walton Family Foundation works in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas. The Walton Family Foundation’s Colorado River Initiative supports work that promotes sustainable management of the Colorado River to benefit people and nature. The Walton Family has provided more than $200 million in funding for grantee and water projects in Arizona and other basin states.