California’s Water Troubles include River Cleanup
The American River is a critical component of California’s most vital resource, water. The Sierra Nevada snowpack melts down into the American River, which then meets up with the Sacramento River near the downtown area. The Sacramento River then goes downstream into the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and eventually into the San Francisco Bay Area. The rivers are responsible for servicing almost 40 million Californians and the Central Valley farms. However, the human impact from outdated wastewater technology and overuse is taking its toll on the rivers. Jeff Foran, chair of the environmental studies department at CSU Sacramento, states:
There’s a whole range of pesticides, fertilizers, nutrients from animal runoff, pharmaceuticals and personal-care products and a variety of industrial chemicals. We can find all of those in our surface waters in California.
According to Sacramento County’s recent data from 2015, almost 2,700 homeless individuals were counted on a single night in 2015. The urban stretch of the American River is a hotspot for homeless people. Near the confluence of the American River and Sacramento River in downtown Sacramento, volunteers collected over 4,400 pounds of trash from the river and its banks in just a three-hour span in May. According to a recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, California’s drinking water quality is one of the worst in the nation coming in eighth based on Safe Drinking Water Act violations. More needs to be done to protect California’s water supplies to avoid the situation that occurred in Flint, Michigan and more need to be done to help the homeless people.
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