Topic: Drinking Water


Drinking Water

Finding and maintaining a clean water supply for drinking and other uses has been a constant challenge throughout human history.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Resident group files suit over Mount Shasta water bottling plant

Neighbors and activists in Mount Shasta have been pressing Crystal Geyser Water Co. for months to conduct a full environmental review before opening a bottling plant just outside the small Northern California town.

Aquafornia news BBC News

Bug-killing book pages clean murky drinking water

The “drinkable book” combines treated paper with printed information on how and why water should be filtered. Its pages contain nanoparticles of silver or copper, which kill bacteria in the water as it passes through.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

State assessing contaminated water infiltration to Scotia drinking water

State agencies are currently assessing potential impacts to Scotia’s drinking water system after three separate incidents at the Humboldt Redwood Company sawmill caused water contaminated with woody materials to infiltrate into the town’s drinking water system on the Eel River.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Review of Nestle water permit neglected for decades

High in the San Bernardino Mountains, on a steep slope covered with brush and ferns, a bunker-like stone structure protrudes from the mountainside. Behind its locked metal doors, water is collected from wells and flows into a pipe to fill bottles of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study finds contaminants in California public-water supplies

Nearly one-fifth of the raw groundwater used for public drinking water systems in California contains excessive levels of potentially toxic contaminants, according to a decade-long U.S. Geological Survey study that provides one of the first comprehensive looks at the health of California’s public water supply and groundwater.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought disaster in East Porterville turns to budding health crisis

Nearly a year and a half after East Porterville’s first dry well was reported, residents and experts say not having running water and breathing increasingly dusty air is worsening their pre-existing health issues and contributing to the development of new ones.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Fracking poses risks to drinking water, EPA says, but hasn’t caused ’systemic’ damage

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a draft report numbering more than 900 pages, said that while fracking operations “have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water.”

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Oil industry raves about EPA fracking study; environmentalists call it suspect

Oil industry supporters rejoiced Thursday when a newly released draft of an Environmental Protection Agency report found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing does widespread damage to drinking water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA: No widespread harm to drinking water from fracking

Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas has not caused widespread harm to drinking water in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday in a report that also warned of potential contamination of water supplies if safeguards are not maintained.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California concerns grow over oilfield operations near water

California regulators on Monday expanded their list of thousands of state-permitted oil and gas wells where below-ground injections may be contaminating drinking-water reserves.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Water flowing from toilet to tap may be hard to swallow

Water spilled out of a spigot, sparklingly clear, into a plastic cup. Just 45 minutes earlier, it was effluent, piped over from Orange County’s wastewater treatment plant next door.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

East Bay residents to get steady diet of foul water

The acrid tap water that flowed for several days last month into thousands of East Bay homes, prompting a flurry of complaints about its bad taste and smell, will be making an extended comeback starting next week — perhaps through the year, or longer.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Taste, smell of water is about to change for EBMUD customers

The high-quality taste of drinking water for 1.3 million East Bay residents is going to change — and possibly worsen for the rest of the drought.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

State begins Delta salinity barrier to protect water supplies in drought

The state has begun building an emergency salinity barrier in the Delta to keep seawater from fouling drinking water supplies for 25 million people.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US lowers fluoride in water; too much causing splotchy teeth

The government is lowering the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water because some kids are getting too much, causing white splotches on their teeth.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Critics take aim at Nestlé bottled water plant in Sacramento

As Californians face deepening cuts in water usage because of the drought, critics are raising concerns about tens of millions of gallons of Sacramento municipal water being tapped by a local plant that bottles and resells it at a profit.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US Forest Service investigates expired permit Nestle uses to draw water out of California for bottled water

The U.S. Forest Service is investigating an expired permit that Nestle has been using to draw water out of a national forest in Southern California for its bottled water business. 

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

$140 million project means more water in drought

With the Inland housing market on the rebound and California in the fourth year of a punishing drought, local water officials need a reliable source of fresh drinking water now and in the future.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sour water — a new normal in the East Bay?

East Bay residents first noticed a bitter taste in their tap water on Saturday. … It turns out the taste, and a foul odor associated with it, comes from algae in the Pardee Reservoir, which supplies most of the drinking water for East Bay Municipal Utility District customers.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

What’s in the water that comes from Los Angeles taps?

Every city, suburb and rural community has specific contaminants of concern.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

What is … the process of bottling water in California? (video)

Video: Reporter Ian James and photographer/illustrator Richard Lui explain how spring water is bottled in California … 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Proposed office to help poor communities get clean drinking water

The emergency drought relief bill proposed for California would create a new state office.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Blog: The Forest Service needs better policies before giving water away to bottling companies

National forests support some of the most pristine groundwater and springs in the country – at least that’s what the most successful water bottling companies advertise. Current policies leave these springs exposed to exploitation, especially during droughts, which are becoming more intense. … According to an article in the Desert Sun, the Forest Service has not investigated how pumping water from Strawberry Creek will affect the environment or downstream water users or required reporting of water use.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Lawmakers see issues in bottled water, expired permits

Some lawmakers are raising questions about the impacts of bottled water companies on water supplies in California after a Desert Sun investigation found little government oversight of the amounts of water being tapped or the effects on the environment.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Bottling water without scrutiny

Miles from the nearest paved road in the San Bernardino National Forest, two sounds fill a rocky canyon: a babbling stream and the hissing of water flowing through a stainless steel pipe. From wells that tap into springs high on the mountainside, water gushes down through the pipe to a roadside tank. 

Aquafornia news The New York Times

New York’s fluoridation fuss, 50 years later

In two days, the city’s Board of Estimate would hold a hearing on one of the most contentious issues of the Cold War: whether to begin fluoridation of New York’s drinking water, which the Board of Health had urged more than a year earlier to fight cavities.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

New bill aims to bring cleaner water to east valley

Assembly Bill 434, introduced this week by state Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, would authorize point-of-use filtration systems as a way to help solve the elevated levels of arsenic in the Coachella Valley.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma council split on fluoride

A divided Sonoma City Council is going to continue its discussion in March on whether to publicly oppose adding fluoride to the county’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma council to take up fluoridation issue Wednesday

Sonoma city officials could consider joining Cotati in opposing fluoridation of the county’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water from Desert Hot Springs bottled for competition

Desert Hot Springs has regularly been a top contender over the years, winning honors in the competition seven times since 1997, including two gold medals.

Aquafornia news The Bakersfield Californian

Coalition brings clean drinking water to rural Kern County

Clean drinking water is something many Americans take for granted, but in areas such as south Kern County access to safe water is not guaranteed. A new program called Agua4All is attempting to address that.

Aquafornia news NBC Southern California

Families worry over foul-smelling tap water (with video)

Families in a Southern California neighborhood worried by black and foul-smelling water pouring from their faucets, toilets and showers say their water company is not doing enough to fix the problem.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte County seeks help dealing with oil train derailments

An ever-growing number of trains carrying a particularly volatile form of light crude oil through the Feather River Canyon has a worried Butte County asking for help and training to deal with a potential catastrophic derailment. … John Scott of Butte Valley claimed a derailment that spilled the light crude into the Feather River would end up polluting the water in Lake Oroville.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: San Joaquin Valley’s poor towns need public help to drink healthy water, breathe clean air, EPA leader says

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sees a connection between cleaning up the air and water and helping the economy grow, says Gina McCarthy, who leads the federal government’s environmental guardian. … The EPA leader said federal and state officials are working together to provide money for drinking-water fixes in the Valley.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Fountains for schools lacking access to clean water

The private health foundation, California Endowment says 120 schools in California’s Central Valley will receive water-purification stations.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Chef Jamie Oliver launches clean water initiative

The California Endowment, a private health foundation, is launching an initiative to install new water filtration stations in communities and schools around the state as a “healthy alternative.”

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Blog: Protecting your drinking water for 40 years

As I traveled across the country this year, there’s one thing I could count on everywhere I went: tap water that’s safe to drink. Drinking water is essential for healthy families, thriving communities, and strong local economies. And this month we’re proud to celebrate an important milestone as December 16, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Commentary: Cloudy — yet safe — tap water adds to negative health effects

Cloudy tap water may have a greater effect on California’s rural immigrants than merely leaving behind a bad taste, according to a new policy brief released by the Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Commentary: California drinking water plan can do more

This week we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act knowing more Americans enjoy safe drinking water than ever before. Nowhere can you find more protective drinking water regulations than in California.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County approves more money for work on fluoride plan

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday approved a trio of actions aimed at improving dental health in Sonoma County, including a contract to complete a study on fluoridation of the county’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

New studies seek to bolster case for fluoride in Sonoma County’s water supply

Despite heated opposition, Sonoma County health officials are building their case that adding fluoride to public water supplies is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay and reduce costs of dental care for the greatest number of Sonoma County residents — a strategy some fluoridation proponents said could translate into broader political support of the additive.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Commentary: Tapped out — one woman’s crusade to save the drinking fountain

When’s the last time you bent to sip from the little arc of pipe-warm water produced by a public drinking fountain?


Colorado River Facts Slide Card

This card includes information about the Colorado River, who uses the river, how the river’s water is divided and other pertinent facts about this vital resource for the Southwest. Beautifully illustrated with color photographs.


A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.


Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.


Protecting Drinking Water on Tribal Lands

This 30-minute DVD explains the importance of developing a source water assessment program (SWAP) for tribal lands and by profiling three tribes that have created SWAPs. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the video complements the Foundation’s 109-page workbook, Protecting Drinking Water: A Workbook for Tribes, which includes a step-by-step work plan for Tribes interested in developing a protection plan for their drinking water.


Groundwater Quality: Managing the Resource

This 15-minute video explains in an easy-to-understand manner the importance of groundwater, defines technical terms, describes sources of groundwater contamination and outlines steps communities can take to protect underground aquifers. Includes extensive computer graphics that illustrate these groundwater concepts. The short running times makes it ideal for presentations and community group meetings. Available on VHS and DVD.

Maps & Posters

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

Maps & Posters

Truckee River Basin Map
Published 2005

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Truckee River Basin, including the Newlands Project, Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe. Map text explains the issues surrounding the use of the Truckee-Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe water quality improvement efforts, fishery restoration and the effort to reach compromise solutions to many of these issues. 

Maps & Posters

Nevada Water Map
Published 2004

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, illustrates the water resources available for Nevada cities, agriculture and the environment. It features natural and manmade water resources throughout the state, including the Truckee and Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and the course of the Colorado River that forms the state’s eastern boundary.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.


Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.


Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.


Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater
Updated 2017

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background and perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the history of its use in California.


Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.


Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2020

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.

Aquapedia background

Water Treatment

Finding and maintaining a clean water supply for drinking and other uses has been a constant challenge throughout human history.

Today, significant technological developments in water treatment, including monitoring and assessment, help ensure a drinking water supply of high quality in California and the West.

The source of water and its initial condition prior to being treated usually determines the water treatment process. [See also Water Recycling.]

Aquapedia background

Surface Water Treatment

A tremendous amount of time and technology is expended to make surface water safe to drink. Surface water undergoes many processes before it reaches a consumer’s tap.

Aquapedia background

Safe Drinking Water Act

Safe Drinking Water Act

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act sets standards for drinking water quality in the United States.

Launched in 1974 and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Safe Drinking Water Act oversees states, communities, and water suppliers who implement the drinking water standards at the local level.

The act’s regulations apply to every public water system in the United States but do not include private wells serving less than 25 people.

According to the EPA, there are more than 160,000 public water systems in the United States.

Western Water Magazine

Nitrate and the Struggle for Clean Drinking Water
March/April 2013

This printed issue of Western Water discusses the problems of nitrate-contaminated water in small disadvantaged communities and possible solutions.

Western Water Magazine

Preserving Quantity and Quality: Groundwater Management in California
May/June 2011

This printed issue of Western Water examines groundwater management and the extent to which stakeholders believe more efforts are needed to preserve and restore the resource.

Western Water Magazine

Pervasive and Persistent: Constituents of Growing Concern
January/February 2011

This printed issue of Western Water, based on presentations at the November 3-4, 2010 Water Quality Conference in Ontario, Calif., looks at constituents of emerging concerns (CECs) – what is known, what is yet to be determined and the potential regulatory impacts on drinking water quality.

Western Water Magazine

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines desalination – an issue that is marked by great optimism and controversy – and the expected role it might play as an alternative water supply strategy.

Western Water Magazine

Small Water Systems, Big Challenges
May/June 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines the challenges facing small water systems, including drought preparedness, limited operating expenses and the hurdles of complying with costlier regulations. Much of the article is based on presentations at the November 2007 Small Systems Conference sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and the California Department of Water Resources.

Western Water Magazine

From Source to Tap: Protecting California’s Drinking Water
November/December 2006

This issue of Western Water looks at some of the issues facing drinking water providers, such as compliance with increasingly stringent treatment requirements, the need to improve source water quality and the mission of continually informing consumers about the quality of water they receive.

Western Water Magazine

Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products: An Rx for Water Quality Problems?
July/August 2004

This issue of Western Water examines PPCPs – what they are, where they come from and whether the potential exists for them to become a water quality problem. With the continued emphasis on water quality and the fact that many water systems in the West are characterized by flows dominated by effluent contributions, PPCPs seem likely to capture interest for the foreseeable future.

Western Water Magazine

Confronting a Legacy of Contamination: Perchlorate
May/June 2003

This issue of Western Water examines the problem of perchlorate contamination and its ramifications on all facets of water delivery, from the extensive cleanup costs to the search for alternative water supplies. In addition to discussing the threat posed by high levels of perchlorate in drinking water, the article presents examples of areas hard hit by contamination and analyzes the potential impacts of forthcoming drinking water standards for perchlorate.

Western Water Magazine

Managing the Colorado River
November/December 1999

Drawn from a special stakeholder symposium held in September 1999 in Keystone, Colorado, this issue explores how we got to where we are today on the Colorado River; an era in which the traditional water development of the past has given way to a more collaborative approach that tries to protect the environment while stretching available water supplies.