13 Mar 2012:
Nitrates Pose Threat to
California Farming Region, Study Says
Nearly 10 percent of the people living in California’s most productive agricultural areas may be drinking water contaminated with nitrates
, according to a new study. In an analysis of water quality in the Tulare Lake Basin and the Salinas Valley — a rural region of about 2.6 million people — researchers at the University of California, Davis found that one in ten people rely on drinking water containing levels of nitrates that exceed the 45 milligrams-per-liter state health standard. According to the study
, the number of people affected could exceed 80 percent of the region’s population by 2050 without proper actions, which would include improving fertilizer management and water treatment. According to researchers, more than 95 percent of the nitrate contamination is related to agricultural activities, including organic and synthetic fertilizers. A separate report released by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
found that farming-caused water pollution costs taxpayers worldwide billions of dollars annually.
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.