The United Nations has released a sweeping report that outlines gross inequities across the globe, whereby more than two billion people do not have clean drinking water, and more than four billion lack reliable sanitation infrastructure.
Although the U.S. federal government has monitored the country’s groundwater for the last 30 years, scientists say that only now can they begin to understand long-term pollution in the largest aquifers. The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment says concentrations of chloride and sodium are on the increase, and in California, nitrate levels are climbing, according to Circle of Blue.
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.
California’s most recent drought started in 2010, and since then, an estimated 147 million trees have died from the dry conditions and bark beetle infestations, a federal count shows.
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.