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Wed, Mar 14, 2012 -- 9:00 AM

Central Valley Drinking Water Contamination


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Sasha Khokha/KQED
Nitrates are colorless and odorless, and thus difficult to detect. In this demonstration by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, only the sample on the right has been treated.
Sasha Khokha/KQED
Nitrates are colorless and odorless, and thus difficult to detect. In this demonstration by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, only the sample on the right has been treated.

Californians living in the state's agricultural regions are at risk of drinking water contaminated with harmful levels of nitrates, according to a new UC Davis report. Linked with thyroid illnesses and some cancers, nitrate contamination largely comes from chemical fertilizer and animal manure. We discuss the extent and cost of the problem, as well as potential solutions.

Host: Michael Krasny

Guests:

  • Danny Merkley, water resources director for the California Farm Bureau Federation
  • Jessica Sanchez, a young woman expecting her first child whose water is nitrate-contaminated
  • Maria Herrera, community outreach coordinator for the Community Water Center
  • Sasha Khokha, Central Valley bureau chief for KQED News
  • Thomas Harter, UC Davis groundwater hydrologist and the study's lead author

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