Orange County Water Survey Shows Public is Willing to Pay More for Reliable, High Quality Water

Aug. 7, 2002

A recent public opinion survey by Orange County Water District (OCWD) shows that 68 percent of the voters in north and central Orange County would pay $5-$10 more per month to increase the quality of their water.

Another 75 percent of those surveyed said they would pay higher rates to increase the reliability of their water. The phone survey polled a random sample of 500 registered voters from the OCWD service area in north and central Orange County.

In drought times like Orange County is currently experiencing, support from the public is important to water agencies in order to carry out necessary projects and programs to maintain water resources in Orange County's semi-arid, desert-like climate.

Voters do not believe the current supply of water is unsafe, but they are supportive of efforts to prevent safety concerns, such as safeguarding against droughts and pipeline breaks.

The following findings summarize results of the survey:

-- 72 percent of those polled said development of new water sources is necessary, even if it will be more costly;

-- 70 percent say they are satisfied with the quality of tap water in Orange County and appreciate having reliable and clean water available when they need it, although nearly 75 percent either drink bottled water or filtered water for the taste;

-- 74 percent said the quality of Orange County tap water has stayed the same over the last five years;

-- 79 percent said that Orange County needs more recycling and reuse.

An overall theme throughout the survey showed that many of the respondents already incorporate conservation into their lives and felt they couldn't do much more to conserve water. But, they are very supportive of conserving water and reusing water, and nearly all those polled believed more could be done to reuse and recycle existing water supplies in Orange County.

Key findings from the survey revealed:

-- Voters are not overly concerned about water supply compared with other issues, like education and traffic;

-- Safety is more of a concern than cost and reliability of the water;

-- Only about half of the voters read their annual water quality reports;

-- Voters do not believe water bills are too high;

-- Orange County Health Care Agency is the most trusted source for water issues; OCWD ranked second.

OCWD's goal for the survey was to learn more about the attitudes of residents in north and central Orange County regarding their water supply. OCWD will use the results of this survey to formulate future information and outreach programs and materials to better serve the public.

Orange County Water District is a state agency that was created by the California State Legislature in 1933 to maintain and manage the groundwater basin under northern and central Orange County.

OCWD's groundwater basin supplies 75% of the water needs in Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda. To learn more about water in Orange County, log on to

Source: Orange County Water District

Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
All images courtesy of Ecosorb.