Battle for safe drinking water heated amid drought in California’s Central Valley

A battle for safe drinking water grows heated amid drought in California’s Central Valley

For people in the nation’s breadbasket, a historic drought’s impacts are visible in every moment of daily life — but the fight for water rights is just beginning. In agriculture country like Tulare County, California, farmers often place signs blaming Governor Gavin Newsom for water shortages.

(Natalie Hanson/Courthouse News) WEST GOSHEN, Calif. (CN) — Thousands of acres of crops, from corn to nectarines, surround Melynda Metheney’s community in West Goshen, … [more…]

Weeki Wachee Mermaids Tackle Water Pollution Education

photo: Weeki Wachee mermaids, Florida roadside attraction



This long, long-running roadside attraction is also educating visitors about pollutants’ effects, focusing on Florida issues that also are relevant to any agricultural regions.

The mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs has been a delightfully kitschy, (very) family friendly, tourist staple for decades. These days, its shows are also relevant and topical, in a way that makes the message fun for all ages. The Weeki Wachee mermaids talk … [more…]

Nitrates Before and After: This is what happened

Photo: confluence of rivers with nitrogen loads - This is what happened

Many people are curious about Iowa stream nitrate before modern agriculture became established across the landscape. They want to know what the “natural” level of nitrate was. It turns out we do have some actual data. In 1955, the Iowa Geological Survey published a document titled “Water-Supply Bulletin No. 5, Quality of Surface Waters of Iowa, 1886-1954” (1). Some of these data are shown below (as nitrogen).

Confluence of the … [more…]

IAEA Develops New Method to Track Sources of Water Pollution

IAEA Develops New Method to Track Sources of Water Pollution

Photo: Excessive nitrate in lakes, seas and rivers can increase algae growth that can lead to toxic blue-green blooms. The IAEA, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts, has developed an innovative method to trace the origin of nitrate pollution in water. (Photo: L. Wassenaar, IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts, has developed an innovative method for tracing the origin of nitrogen … [more…]

Elevated Nitrate Levels Found in Millions of Americans’ Drinking Water

photo: residential drinking water sauce

Photo: Steve Johnson / Flickr

Public water systems serving more than 5.6 million Americans contain concentrations of nitrate at levels found to cause health problems, including cancer and birth defects, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health. Systems serving Hispanic populations tended to have the highest levels of nitrate in drinking water.

Nitrate in water originates from various sources, including fertilizers, sewage treatment systems, and … [more…]