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Water Conundrums


Last updated 7/21/2015 at 1:29pm

While California is experiencing its fourth year of a severe Drought, and a senior scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech and a professor of Earth System Science at U.C. Irvine, Jay Famiglietti said California only has one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, the state has responded by curtailing the water usage of its residents. Interestingly, large corporate water users/wasters have been given preferential treatment. The fracking industry is allowed to use massive amounts of water, while average residents are significantly restrained in their usage. Hydraulic fracturing uses billions of gallons of water each year across the U.S. and the vast majority of water used in hydraulic fracturing is fresh. Fracking has been documented in ten California Counties and off California’s coast and has raised serious concerns about human health and the environment- with potential effects on the quality and quantity of drinking water resources. In the same vein, transnational water bottling companies like Nestle receive special treatment. Governor Brown has cut public water use by 25 percent but hasn’t placed any limitation on Nestle’s withdrawal of fresh water from aquifer springs. The Swiss firm drew 50 million gallons from Sacramento sources last year. Nestle bottles city water and sells it back to the public at a huge profit. During a severe Drought, it seems that any use of water for profit deserves more scrutiny.

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