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Fri Jul 24, 2015, 08:49 AM

Industrial Pollution Is Threatening Our Drinking Water: A Dispatch From Los Angeles County

Industrial Pollution Is Threatening Our Drinking Water: A Dispatch From Los Angeles County
By Daniel Ross, Truthout | Report

Though water use has been cut by 29 percent in the state over the last two years, with summer temperatures already hovering around triple digits, a question being asked with greater frequency and not a little more urgency is this one: If, as some experts ominously predict, the drought continues well into the foreseeable future, where's the county's drinking water going to come from?

Currently, LA County relies on water from three main sources: northern California, the Colorado River and groundwater beneath the county's feet. And while groundwater is the most accessible of the three, it's far from the cleanest. Indeed, no other county in the state is more reliant than LA County on groundwater that has been deemed contaminated at one time or another.

That's not to say that the problem has gone unheeded. Since the 1980s, billions of dollars have been pumped into cleaning the county's four main water basins: the San Fernando, San Gabriel, Central and West Coast Water Basins. But all these years later, a losing battle is still being waged in some areas against the continued migration of contamination into clean aquifers, a toxic legacy from decades of heavy industrial pollution in the region. And the situation is reaching a watershed.

Experts predict that, unless further drastic measures are taken within five to eight years to tackle groundwater pollution in the San Fernando Basin alone, contaminated plumes will become so dense and permanent that the rest of the wells in that area will need to be shut down. ..............(more)


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