This month Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, which aims to improve access to safe drinking water for residents in disadvantaged communities. Approximately 1 million Californians currently lack access to safe drinking water, the vast majority of whom live in small rural communities that rely on private drinking water wells or poorly maintained water systems contaminated by harmful constituents such as arsenic, nitrates, and 1,2,3-TCP.
Lead testing was in the mainstream news yet again this month after a report gave California a “C+” for its policies to protect children from lead in drinking water at school. In fairness to California, it was one of the only states to receive a “passing” grade, as 22 of the 32 states analyzed received an “F” letter grade. If you’re a parent like me, however, you probably feel like a C+ report card is hardly worth celebrating.
But what exactly did the report base its assessment on?
From the desert to the sea, California cities are tackling the problem of limited water supply with recycling and reuse solutions.
California’s snowpack is now over 136% and rising, with more snow expected this weekend. Is it enough to defeat the drought?
It is impossible to overstate the tragedy of the Camp and Woolsey fires. The road to recovery will be a long, expensive, and painful one and, unfortunately, rebuilding is only the first of many costs. In addition to the obvious aftermath of a wildfire, there is a subtle yet salient issue these communities will now face: tainted water quality.
Thanksgiving this year was salad-less, thanks to a nation-wide romaine lettuce recall on November 20th. And while many Americans were probably more than happy to have more room on their plates for stuffing and gravy, the E. coli outbreak that prompted the recall was rather dire. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called on consumers to throw away all romaine lettuce following 32 confirmed cases of E. coli bacteria poisoning in 11 U.S. states and Canada.
Recall attention focused on the produce itself, but throwing the lettuce away was merely a temporary solution to our seemingly ever-present food safety issues. If we wish to prevent foodborne illnesses, the real culprit that must be dealt with is deficient agricultural water quality.