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Water of California - Is All the Fresh Water on Earth Polluted

The fresh water of California, is it polluted or is it still pure?

California is maybe one of the most populated areas of the United States. Don't you think this would be one of the areas in the United States the most polluted with the least fresh water available? Well, you might be in for a surprise.

Is there a threat in drinking rainwater?

Nowadays, it is not possible anymore to drink outdoors water without getting sick. Rainwater contains pollutants, bacteria, algae, and sometimes radioactive materials that the drops of water picked up from the atmosphere.

As for river water, it contains pesticides and fertilizers coming from farms and people's lawns, medicines, effluent from industrial wastes and sewage treatment plants.

What is the source of the problem?

Since prehistoric times, the only sources of natural water came from the rain and ground water howled from deep wells. This was true until recently, until the modern area. If we have made a great leap forward in technology these last two centuries, we have also made a great leap backwards in protecting our environment.

Where does the Californian fresh water come from?

From water surface high up in the mountains. The Sierra Nevada watershed for instance is a great source of fresh water for the entire state of California. It collects surface water in the shape of frozen snow that is available all year long. The watershed provides 50% of California's needs in fresh water.

Is it really pure?

According to Robert Derlet, a backpacker and a professor at the California-Davis School of Medicine who has been studying the Sierra water for more than twenty years, the higher the water, the safer for us to drink. Still according to Derlet, some areas where there is a lot of traffic are polluted. He gives the Appalachian Trail as an example. However, most of the Sierra water is not contaminated enough in order to get people sick.