>Another growing worry is nitrate contamination, caused by nitrogen
>fertilizer from agriculture and wastewater disposal operations.
>Elevated nitrate levels can cause methemoglobinemia, also known as
>``blue baby'' syndrome, in infants.
>The situation has gotten so bad that the state water board is poised
>to intervene by ordering a drastic reduction in the amount of water
>pumped out of the county's aquifers, virtually the only source of
Well, folks, this is where I live--North Monterey County. Thanks Misha for
this information. Many of us here have our heads in the sand. Some have
been asking for government to enforce its own regulations for years. Where
I am, hundreds of small mutual water associations provide water. Our water
is contaminated by nitrates from ag runoff. Little to nothing is done. At a
recent meeting on water quality, ALL the board of supervisor candidates for
this area of the county walked out rather than discuss the nitrates in the
water, saying it was off the topic of the forum. Typical, I thought, when
agribusiness runs the show.
I live next door to the director of one of the water districts and he says
we should be testing for more than e.coli but we don't.
At another meeting on water quality, I heard a consultant scientist say the
overdraft is causing a suction that pulls in more than sea water--it pulls
down more ag runoff, which means more fertilizers and more pesticides in
the aquifer than ever before. This, mixed with the increased sea water
intrusion means some folks are already on bottled water. This is the
future--tomorrow is now.
And the front page of a recent paper spoke of yet another large housing
Agribusiness is acting like some folks did before the Black Death. They put
more and more acreage into lettuce and aerially irrigate their fields, even
though they know most of that water evaporates before it gets to the root
systems. One aerial sprinkler uses 50 gallons a minute, I've heard. And why
not: They only pay $25 per acre foot for that water. (An acre-foot is
325,829 gallons.) Use it up. Dance.
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