Southern California’s Dirty Water Problems

In a recent article by Ryan P. Kelly and Margaret R. Caldwell on, the deteriorating quality of southern California’s bodies of water is under scrutiny by the EPA.

According to the article, water along the coastline and nearby rivers and steams have become considerably more polluted over the past few years. While this is a devastating fact by itself, this problem is compounded by at least two different factors. Firstly, much of California’s residents live in coastal counties. These residents are now being exposed to water that is considerably worse than in previous years. Another factor to consider is that these polluted waters end up in the coastal sea water, which has already been abused for decades.

To make matters even worse, coastal waters are also a victim of acidification. This is the end result of the process by which the world’s oceans absorb the carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere. As the name implies, the pH levels of ocean waters are becoming much more acidic. This has been having dire effects on many much ocean life. For example, this has caused the shells of oysters, plankton, and mussels to dissolve.

This problem may not be news. It should not take a threat from the EPA for positive action to be taken on water pollution in any part of the country. On a more positive note, parts of southern California were able to make improvements in air quality over the past three decades. The same can, and must be done for local clean water sources.

City and state budgets are still strained from an economy that has yet to improve over the past three years of the great recession. However, something as basic to society as clean water should be protected at any cost. Ideally, this is not something should get caught up in any local governmental red tape. It’s simply something that needs to be taken care of.