Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 22, 2018 


President Trump gets a scolding from the Chief Justice. Also on our Thanksgiving Day rundown: groups target diabetes among the hungry; plus we will let you know how Small Business Saturday is helping to boost local economies.

Daily Newscasts

New Year Brings Safer Drinking Water to CA Farm Country

PHOTO: Even cows in the San Joaquin Valley could benefit from safer drinking water, under new rules to reduce the amounts of fertilizer and other chemicals in the water supply.
PHOTO: Even cows in the San Joaquin Valley could benefit from safer drinking water, under new rules to reduce the amounts of fertilizer and other chemicals in the water supply.
December 31, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Some Central Valley residents are beginning the new year with something many take for granted - safe drinking water. For the first time, regional water boards are requiring farmers in the state's two biggest agricultural regions to reduce the amounts of fertilizer and other chemicals that go into the water supply.

Abigal Solis, community projects coordinator for the Community Water Center, says that for years families throughout the Salinas and Tulare agricultural regions have lugged gallons of water into their homes because high nitrate levels make the tap water unsafe to drink.

"These families have suffered long enough, and they've done their part to make their voices heard. So it's very rewarding to be able to say that this has happened, and that more will come. "

A report by UC-Davis found chemical fertilizer used on row crops like almonds has contaminated 11 trillion gallons of groundwater in the Salinas and Tulare Lake Basin regions, an amount so vast that it could fill Lake Shasta nearly eight times.

The report found the contamination affects the drinking water of a quarter-million Californians, with millions more affected in the future if no action is taken.

Solis says the people affected by unsafe drinking water have been speaking out for years.

"If you get a mother who finds out the water is contaminated, she may not be able to afford spending more money on water - but she's going to do it, because she's worried about her child's safety and their health."

The state will require management plans that include targeting fertilizer application and reducing water use on farms to reduce the nitrate amounts in the groundwater. While some farmers are already doing this, the new regulations will provide support and incentives to ensure that these practices become the norm, not the exception.

More information is at CommunityWaterCenter.org.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA