December 14, 2010

Watering the Central Coast

The poisoning of the Salinas Valley aquifer may be irreversable by now.

Irrigation runoff, liquid mixed with the residue of powders and oils and potions habitually spread over the staggeringly rich agicultural acres of the valley, leaks down water's inexorable gradient to the lowest available spot, the aquifer, where that liquid is lifted by pump back again to the surface to collect the residue of yet another round of agricultural chemistry. It's hard to say at this point what sort of remediation could make some of the valley's water supply non-toxic again. The threat to Monterey Bay goes without saying: all these waters leak in that direction.

Aiming to clean up some of the most toxic water in California, regional water quality officials are considering new rules to control polluting runoff from agricultural fields.
Water samples from the Salinas Valley were among the worst on the Central Coast.
After more than two years in development, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board will consider adopting the new regulations in March.

This is what happens when lawyerly types are left to design an agency. The Water Quality Board should act more like a fire department than a circuit court, immediately acting to shut down identified threats to the water supply with all the tools of the trade, rather than engaging in two years of hearings that may yeild some mitigating results in March.

But, no.

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