How dangerous is drinking water in California?

How dangerous is drinking water in California?

About one million Californians drink contaminated drinking water that is harmful to health. The State Auditor sounded the alarm to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Read today in USA.ONE magazine:

It's dangerous to drink drinking water in California

It can lead to serious health problems.

What's wrong with water in California?How dangerous is drinking water in California?

Acting California State Auditor Michael Tilden released a report addressed to Governor Gavin Newsom, according to which 370 water systems were out of order across the state. They provide water to more than 920 thousand people. And two-thirds of these systems are in disadvantaged communities. The report also says that in the near future there is a risk of failure of hundreds more water systems in California.

The State Board of Water Resources Control is developing a plan to implement and enforce local and federal drinking water safety laws. It includes enforcement of maximum permissible levels of pollution for more than 100 substances harmful to human health. If any of them are exceeded in the water supply system, it must inform consumers and explain to them all the risks associated with water pollution. In addition, provide alternative sources until the violations are corrected.

According to the audit report, 70 California water supplies are high in arsenic levels, which cause skin damage, circulation problems and the risk of developing cancer. Also, nitrates are often found in water, which enter it from soil and sewage. This pollutant is especially dangerous for children under 6 months old.

How dangerous is drinking water in California?

The State Water Resources Control Board maintains 7,400 water systems and provides funds to improve their quality. But over the past 5 years, the processing time for applications from systems requiring funding has increased to 33 months, which is more than 2 years of waiting. Thus, faulty water systems continue to operate in California in the absence of urgency in providing them with the necessary assistance.

A significant funding gap is another major problem in the state. From 2021 to 2025, its size is estimated at $4.5 billion. Faulty water systems require about 3.2 billion and only 1.2 is available. The lack of funds only gets worse over time. The State Water Resources Control Board has not set targets and performance metrics to track changes in application processing and delivery of assistance, causing funding to be delayed and projects to become more expensive. Meanwhile, Californians are at risk of adverse health effects from drinking poor quality water.

In order to quickly address the problems of faulty water systems, the state council needs to hire more staff who will reduce the waiting times for applications and the provision of financial help. Michael Tilden says work must begin immediately with federal agencies and the California legislature to request additional resources, including repairs, improved water treatment technology, technical assistance to water systems and their consolidation. He proposes to the State Water Control Board to set performance targets for funding applications by January 2023, and to assess progress on reform by July.

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