Pressure Mounts To Solve California’s Toxic Farmland Drainage Problem

Many Americans know the name Kesterson as the California site where thousands of birds and fish were discovered with gruesome deformities in 1983, a result of exposure to selenium-poisoned farm runoff. Thirty-five years later, it is one of the oldest unresolved water problems in the state. Selenium, a naturally occurring element, is essential to people and animals alike in small doses. But selenium continues pouring off many San Joaquin Valley farms in larger quantities, which can be toxic.