(NaturalNews) As California’s wealthier residents worry about keeping their swimming pools full and their lawns green, many of the state’s less fortunate are simply trying to figure out how to survive in communities that have no access to running water.
Thousands of Californians live in areas where local water supplies have either completely dried up or are contaminated by pesticides and other pollutants. In these ‘dry’ communities, many have been without direct access to clean water for the last two years and the number of people who have no running water in their homes is steadily growing.
In Tulare County alone, more than 5,000 people now have no access to drinkable water.
The four-year long drought has taken a serious toll on rural California communities that are not served by the network of pipelines and aqueducts that supply urban areas with fresh water from northern California and the Colorado River.
Meanwhile, farmers and residents in these dry areas have been forced to rely on solely on water pumped from wells which are depleting groundwater supplies at an unprecedented rate. In many areas, the groundwater supplies are too contaminated by pesticides to be useful as drinking water and there are no longer surface water resources available.
In some California communities, arsenic contamination in the water supplies has become a serious problem. Agricultural use of fertilizers and mining operations both contribute to elevated levels of arsenic, a substance which is normally present in water supplies but at much lower concentrations.
Arsenic is linked to several types of cancer and can also cause birth defects and nervous system disorders.
No relief in sight
With no indications that the California drought will end anytime soon, even the water used to supply the cities and large agricultural concerns has become increasingly scarce, so there’s little hope on the horizon for the poorer communities whose water supplies have already disappeared.
The entire state may be in danger of drying up completely over the next few years, and the implications of such an occurrence are almost unimaginable, considering that southern California is home to more than 20 million people.
Full article: California’s water collapse means many citizens are living like third-world citizens with no running water (Natural News)