The Water Education Foundation published an article on excess salinity that is in the water here in the valley. Too much intake of salt can be a problem, and that is what is happening here in the Central Valley. “Excess salinity – that which is greater than the standard set to protect beneficial uses – poses a growing threat to food production and drinking water quality.” If there is no solution to the problem, California will lose significant portions of prime agricultural land. In a March 2009 study, “The Economic Impacts of Central Valley Salinity, the University of California, Davis reported that if salinity increases at the current rate until 2030, the direct annual costs will range from $1 billion to $1.5 billion, with income impacts to the Central Valley between $1.2 billion and $2.2 billion.”
There have been those that have taken reasonable measures to solving this problem. Farmers are pursuing innovative management and treatment techniques and are studying salt-tolerant crops. Residents are being educated about their role in the problem and what they can do to reduce the amount of salt they contribute to the water. As the population grows, there will always be that unresolved thought if the new residents will worsen the problem or help create a solution to it. The Central Valley Water Board and others are developing a salinity and nutrient management plan which aims to control “nitrate, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, bicarbonate, sulfate and/or chloride”.
Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS) is a “strategic initiative to address salinity, including nitrates, throughout the region in a comprehensive, consistent and sust...
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...ly surface water streams and lake. Of the lack of winter storms and record high temperatures, snowpack in California it is at an all-time low. When surface water supplies are low, hidden water supplies beneath the surface in aquifers, or groundwater, are drilled to make up the shortfall. The third is that while “25 percent water use restrictions announced last week are intended to help reduce demand, most of the water in California is used for farming”. California is not the only state in the west facing water supply issues. The Colorado River Basin, which supplies water to Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego, have also been in a “drought for more than a decade, and the river basin’s aquifers have been declining too”. California first faced the drought in the 1970s, “fewer than 20 million people lived in the state, and now nearly 40 million live there .”
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