‘A Ticking Time Bomb’: Why California Can’t Provide Safe Drinking Water to All Its Residents

In the Mojave Desert community of North Edwards, 5-year-old Adam Ezelle knows never to drink water from the tap, which contains dangerous levels of arsenic.

In the tiny farming and oil refining community of Fuller Acres, where a potent carcinogen has tainted groundwater wells, Maria Martinez and her family say they feel neglected by a state that has pledged clean water for all of its residents.

Ground Zero: Rain Brings Little Relief to California’s Depleted Groundwater

The powerful storms that clobbered California for weeks in December and January dropped trillions of gallons of water, flooding many communities and farms. But throughout the state, the rains have done little to nourish the underground supplies that are critical sources of California’s drinking water.

Thousands of people in the San Joaquin Valley have seen their wells go dry after years of prolonged drought and overpumping of aquifers. And a two-week deluge — or even a wet winter — will not bring them relief.