Are we drinking nitrate in groundwater?
|According to an interdisciplinary group of UC Davis faculty and researchers, more than 245,000 people in California are at risk for exposure to harmful levels of nitrate in their drinking water. CCWAS IGERT trainers Thomas Harter, Jay Lund, Graham Fogg, Richard Howitt, James Quinn, and Josh Viers contributed to a comprehensive study of nitrate in groundwater in the Tulare Lake basin and Salinas Valley. Lund remarked, “Cleaning up nitrate in groundwater is a complex problem with no single solution...This report should help inform discussions among people involved with drinking water, waste discharge, and agricultural issues, including various local and state government agencies.”
You can read an op-ed written by Harter and Lund at the Sac Bee website.
For more information, including flash video, see the UC Davis news site.
The entire report is available at a dedicated UCANR website.
Addendum, 19 March. The Sac Bee editorial page staff weighed in this morning:
Implementing [the report] recommendations shouldn't be seen as a confrontation with agriculture. The UC Davis researchers were clear about the value of farming to this region. At the same time, California can't create a sacrifice zone for water drinkers in farm areas. The state has a legal obligation to enforce the non-degradation provisions of the Porter Cologne Act Water Code. Those provisions are being violated. That must end.