Residents of California, nay, the residents of Unites States have a huge problem on their hands, and yet most of them are either overlooking it or simply not aware of it. What aggravates this problem is the fact that everyone in power at any level in the United States has tried to sweep it under the rug for reasons obviously political.
The problem is a serious one: the water used for irrigation purpose in California’s Central Valley, one of the largest farming areas in the state, is actually the waste of oil refineries around it.
A vineyard next to an oil wastewater pool from where water is drawn to the fields.Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
And where is the oil wastewater coming from? Obviously, the oil companies around the Valley. These companies have been able to pump in the wastewater back into the ground putting groundwater at high risk of contamination. The use of that same water for irrigation means that the food produced may have been contaminated, though evidence in support of the same is yet to be ascertained.
An oil wastewater channel. Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
The wastewater that is used for irrigation undergoes a treatment process operated by one of the many oil companies. Chevron, for instance, treats the water and then sells it to the farmers who need it in the drought prone region. But despite treatment, concerns over the purity remains. Wastewater is after all wastewater and it might contain chemicals that remain at the time the water is used for farming.
Oil companies hold a sway in US politics.
She was, before her first presidential fight in 2008, a stakeholder in Chevron and other oil companies. And Greenpeace says that Clinton collected more than $2,600,000 in direct and bundled contributions these companies in the just concluded election.
Though it is relatively unclear about the fate of environment under Trump, had Hillary come to power the oil companies would have been the biggest beneficiaries and environment the definite loser.