Opinion: We Must Wake Up to the World’s Water Crisis

Amid a tidal wave of bad news – from inflation and the war in Ukraine to climate change and divisive politics – there is one story that might trump all others in importance, and yet it receives the least sustained global attention: water.

Calexico Celebrates $28M in New River Funding

After a decade of immense effort, the New River Project received $28 million in funding to begin the first phase of restoration said to bring public health safety and environmental justice to Calexico, Mexicali, and Baja California, at a press conference at the Women’s Improvement Club in Calexico July 7.

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and Senator Ben Hueso, along with California Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld and his team, were welcomed to The City of Calexico by the Mayor of Calexico, Javier Moreno.

As California’s Big Cities Fail to Rein in Their Water Use, Rural Communities Are Already Tapped Out

Gary Biggs’ family hasn’t had water coming out of their private well for over a decade, after a multi-year drought and overpumping by agriculture and industry.

Now, the eight-acre farm in West Goshen, California, which Biggs passed down to his son, Ryan, in the 1970s, is parched and fallow. His son and granddaughter carry in water from sources to drink and shower. They go to town to wash their clothes, Biggs says.

Pentagon Reports High Levels of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water Near Bases

The Defense Department is reporting high levels of toxic perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water near several of its bases, according to new data released by the department.

Drinking water testing near bases in Washington state, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan found levels of the chemicals well above a health threshold set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

San Diego Files Lawsuit Over Toxic PFAS Chemicals in Water

The City of San Diego is suing more than 20 companies over decades-long water contamination from toxic chemical called PFAS.

The lawsuit claims manufacturers like 3M, DuPont, and Raytheon made firefighting foam that contained PFAS and alleges the companies concealed “knowledge about the grave environmental and human health dangers of these compounds.

Valley Communities Lost Water in Last Drought. Are Small Water Systems Ready This Time?

Arturo Rodriguez and his colleagues on the Poplar Community Services District board are responsible for keeping clean water flowing to 2,500 residents in the middle of a global pandemic and drought.

Of the community’s three wells, two are in production right now, although Rodriguez doesn’t know how long they’ll last through another drought. The other well is inactive because it is contaminated with nitrates. As the aquifer lowers this summer, even if the wells don’t run dry, they run a greater risk of becoming contaminated. Water suppliers are often forced to choose between a contaminated well or no running water.

PFAS Water Lawsuits Expose Financial Impacts on State’s Poor Communities

Santa Clarita, a comfortable exurb of some 213,000 residents about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, is one of hundreds of California communities and districts grappling with the pricey problem of drinking water that’s been tainted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals that have been linked to cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

California May Regulate ‘Forever’ Chemicals in Water Before EPA

California water suppliers could face state limits on the concentration of two so-called “forever chemicals” before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets national standards. Maximum contaminant levels for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are on track to be in place in California in 2023, Darrin Polhemus, deputy director for drinking water programs at the State Water Resources Control Board, said during a board meeting Tuesday about agency priorities for the year.

New Threat To Humboldt County Drinking Water Prompts State Action

Of concern is potentially migrating dioxins from pentachlorophenol, a wood preservative that was used at the mill site before being banned in the mid-1980s. In response, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control has hired an engineering firm to do a new round of testing at the site.

Biden Delays Trump Changes to Lead and Copper Drinking Water Rule

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it is delaying the implementation of a Trump administration update to a rule governing lead and copper in drinking water. The rule in question is expected to quicken the speed at which cities need to notify people who may have been exposed to lead but gives utilities a longer timeline to replace lead-tainted service lines. A new statement from the Environmental Protection Agency said that it is extending the date that the rule becomes effective, delaying it until at least June 17. It was originally expected to go into effect next week.