Conservation More Important Than New Water Projects, Many Voters Say

New Utah Foundation LogoGiven the choice, many Utah voters think the state should focus on water conservation rather than building new infrastructure projects to provide it.

Their views are outlined in a research brief published by Utah Foundation as part of the Utah Priorities Project.

42% of voters surveyed agreed with the focus on water conservation. 21% of voters disagreed. Water supply and quality came in 6th on the Utah Priorities Project top ten list, which has been compiled by Utah Foundation in each year with an election for governor since 2004.

“Water supply and quality is making a comeback as a top ten priority, after holding 11th place in both 2010 and 2012” said Research Analyst Mallory Bateman, the author of the brief. “This could be due in part to last year’s drought issues across the West, or other more localized issues.”

Almost two-thirds of Utah voters (61%) had a high level of concern about water supply and quality, giving it a 4 or 5 ranking on a 5-point scale. Voters in Utah’s rural areas and more arid climates ranked it higher. 69% of voters in in Utah’s 2ndCongressional District, which includes the southwestern corner of the state, expressed that view.

The questions about water conservation and quality were posed to more than 800 voters who participated in the Utah Priorities Project survey in February and March. The research was conducted for Utah Foundation by Dan Jones and Associates.