Allensworth in California’s San Joaquin Valley, now Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, was founded in 1908 by Colonel Allen Allensworth, a former slave and American Civil War Union officer. At the time, artesian wells produced clear water and crops flourished; Allensworth dreamed of creating a black utopia.
A lack of regulation, political will and funding have all led to contaminated drinking water for many schools around the country, and researchers note that children are particularly vulnerable to the chemical.
The U.S. Clean Water Act, which Congress passed nearly a half-century ago, prohibits pollution in navigable bodies of water, but now the Supreme Court justices will examine whether indirect contamination—specifically in groundwater—is in violation of the landmark legislation.
California’s largest agricultural region, the San Joaquin Valley, is facing numerous challenges to its groundwater supply, including overdraft and contamination, according to a new study that explores threats to overall sustainability in the region.
Because of excessive groundwater extraction, subsidence—the sinking or settling of the ground’s surface—is dragging rural Yolo and Colusa counties in California downward.