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Survey finds bipartisan support for tackling water preservation amid drought

Likely voters in Arizona overwhelmingly care about water — and wish more candidates would share plans for the state’s water future on the campaign trail.

More than 90% of all likely voters support preserving and protecting Arizona's rivers, natural areas and wildlife, and they want elected officials to find solutions to ensure the state’s water supplies amid ongoing drought conditions, according to a survey conducted by the Center for the Future of Arizona. 

The survey results, released over the coming days as the Arizona Voters’ Agenda, compile a list of issues that a majority of voters strongly support — issues that candidates infrequently mention.

“We hear about water in the news every day. We're hearing about levels in Lake Mead, resource issues on the Colorado River,” said Sybil Francis, who leads the Center for the Future of Arizona. “But we're not really hearing about this from candidates. What's their plan for water in Arizona?”

Francis noted water preservation is an issue that cuts across party lines.

“We have really high levels of support among Republicans, Democrats, independents and non-affiliated voters, really in the high 90s across the board for doing something about water,” she said.

State lawmakers are still debating a budget that may include roughly $1 billion in funding for water preservation over the next three years.

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.