The coronavirus sparked a lot of water-related questions and
issues when the pandemic moved into California in 2020.
Below are the latest articles on the topic as they appeared in
our Aquafornia news aggregate.
Throughout the state, there are more than 100 active faults that
have produced earthquakes resulting in widespread damage and
deaths. In Southern California alone, since 1933, there have been
23 significant quakes of magnitude 5.9 or greater. The San
Andreas Fault, the major fault line running through California,
is expected to be the source for a major earthquake. It was the
source for the earthquake that leveled San Francisco in 1906.
Water infrastructure is vulnerable to earthquakes:
Devastating floods are almost annual
occurrences in the West and in California. With the anticipated
sea level rise and other impacts of a changing climate,
particularly heavy winter rains, flood management is increasingly
critical in California. Compounding the issue are human-made
flood hazards such as levee stability and stormwater runoff.
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, injects high
pressure volumes of water, sand and chemicals into existing wells
to unlock natural gas and oil. The technique essentially
fractures the rock to get to the otherwise unreachable deposits.
Despite droughts, the recession and natural disasters,
California’s urban population continues to grow.
This population growth means increasing demand for water by urban
areas—home to most of California’s population [see also
Agricultural Conservation]. As of 2012, seven of the most
populated urbanized areas in the United States are in California.
California would not exist as it does today were it not for the
extensive system of levees, weirs and flood bypasses that have
been built through the years, particularly in the Sacramento-San
More than 1 million Californians are affected by unsafe or
unreliable sources of water for cooking, drinking and bathing.
They can lose access to water supplies when their wells run dry,
especially during drought when groundwater is relied on more
heavily and the water table drops. Employment disruptions caused
by the COVID-19 pandemic can impair their ability to pay water
bills on time. Communities of color are most often burdened by