The cost of this in terms of water resources is extreme.
The region’s water pollution will become permanent in five to eight years and would have to be shut down, according to the study.
Among water problems the California State Water Resources Board found high levels of toxic chemicals, including arsenic, thallium and nitrates in water supply wells near the wastewater disposal sites.
“Arsenic and thallium are extremely dangerous chemicals. The fact that high concentrations are showing up in multiple water wells close to wastewater injection sites raises major concerns about the health and safety of nearby residents,” said Timothy Krantz, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Redlands.
These were the only contaminants from the eight water wells out of more than a hundred in the area, according to the state water board.
The contaminants are harming one of California’s largest sources of income, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
“Contamination is a major concern and the drought just exacerbates water issues, and the groundwater is one of those,” said Sara Aminzadeh, the executive director of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, a group that advocates safe water.
The department said that California’s groundwater basins “has been the most important single resource contributing to the present development of the state’s economy.”
Sometimes the water systems will give out polluted water when they are unable to treat the water, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“The costs of treating water will cost more money but is more cost effective than relying on increasing imported water,” said Alebert Gastelum, the Department of Water and Power’s director of water quality.
“The water we serve meets standards and is safe to drink and our water has never been better at the tap,” said Gastelum.
A new purification plant would enable the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to clean water from out of service wells.
“It’s just a matter of time before we’re out of resources. Enjoy what we can now. Just a matter of time. Other places are already experiencing having no water,” said student Cordel Wilson.
Along with the water contamination, California’s underground water resources are being depleted at a rapid rate, according to The New York Times.
California is the last state in the West to move towards the limitations on use of its groundwater, according to The New York Times.
Fracking has used between 140,000 and 150,000 gallons of water per day, which cannot be consumed or used in farming operations, according to Adam Scow, the California Director for Food and Water Watch.
“Climate conditions have exposed our house of cards and the withdrawals far outstrip the replenishment. We can’t keep doing this,” said NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti.
With less drinkable water, Californians are in for a rough drought in the next few years.