A new report warns that Californians could face long-term health problems, including liver and kidney damage as well as cancer, due to the consumption of polluted waters. The audit was highly critical of the State Water Resources Control Board, stating that it failed to act with enough urgency to address the state’s failing water systems. As of December 2021, there were over 370 water systems that had failed, affecting 920,000 people.
Almost 240 of these water systems have been failing for at least three years, and over 150 have been failing for five years. Furthermore, according to data from the State Water Board, in 2021, an additional 432 water systems servicing more than 1 million people are at risk of failing. The majority of the failed water systems were in disadvantaged communities in the Central Valley, with more people being affected.