Nitrate Problems, by the Numbers

A new report, ordered by the state Legislature, examines the causes of nitrate groundwater contamination and identifies potential solutions to the widespread issue.

Below is the report – ‘Addressing Nitrate in California’s Drinking Water,’ prepared by UC Davis researchers – in numbers.

  • 254,00: People in California’s Tulare Lake Basin (the southern San Joaquín Valley) and Salinas Valley currently at risk of nitrate contamination of their drinking water
  • 96: The percentage of nitrate pollution connected to cropland. This occurs when nitrogen is applied to crops, but not removed by harvest, air emission, or runoff, and then leaches from the root zone to groundwater.
  • 57: The percentage of the current population in the study area that depend on a community public water system with untreated nitrate concentrations that have exceeded the maximum contaminant level for nitrate in drinking water between 2006 and 2010.
  • 80: The percentage of the population that could be affected by 2050, if nitrate groundwater concentration trends continue.
  • $20 to $36 million: The estimated cost, per year, for short- and long-term safe drinking water solutions for the two regions.

Learn more about Valley residents’ fight for clean drinking water:

Learn more about the study:


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