The Environment in Stanislaus County

The Environment in Stanislaus County

BUS 250

Corporate and Social Responsibility

The Environment in Stanislaus County

Air pollution, water pollution, and water shortage, only a few of the problems affecting the central valley and Stanislaus County in California. The central valley of California in particular has struggled with air pollution due to its large and growing population along with all of its agriculture. The water shortage that California has been dealing with is also a very serious concern both for agricultural reasons and for its inhabitants. Because of the water shortage water pollution is something that must be stopped to make sure the limited supply of water there is all usable.

“Surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, the Central Valley acts as a pool for pollutants produced by the region’s roughly 3.5 million residents, its industry and its large agricultural community”. (Berg. CITE HERE) Because the natural landscape makes it harder for the central valley to control the air pollution some measures have been taken to help with the air quality. Putting restrictions on burn days for the agriculture industry in the state, making stricter vehicle emission laws and encouraging people to car pool are just a few examples of what is being done by the state and county to help with the air pollution. If air pollution was not mitigated at all there could be several health problems associated with it such as, cardiovascular and respiratory issues, loss of lung function, diseases such as asthma and possible cancer. These are just a few of the health issues that can be caused from air pollution that can affect whole communities.

Stanislaus County had a landfill that was opened in 1970 and operated until 1991 located next to the Tuolumne River. When the landfill was first opened there was no bottom liner to contain all the toxins from the rotting garbage. There was a concern that the nearby Tuolumne River or the water in the town of Hughson would be contaminated from all of these toxins. “Tests showed that a toxic plume – created by landfill wastes leaching into the groundwater- had spread underneath the Tuolumne River and could possibly move toward Hughson’s drinking water”. (Carlson, 2017 para. 7) The landfill which is jointly owned by the Stanislaus county and Modesto city are now responsible for the clean up and containment of the problem. “The County will pay a Southern California contractor $1.74 million to build the groundwater extraction and treatment equipment at the old landfill on the north side of the Tuolumne River, about a mile northeast of Hughson”. (Carlson, 2017, para. 2) In this situation it is good steps are being taken before there are any severe impacts on the local residents health.

The drought in California is a very real concern for because people need water to live; agriculture needs water to continue to grow food. Having a consistent water supply has and will always been a concern for people living in Stanislaus county and the rest of California. When there is not enough rainfall or snow pack the surface water is quickly depleted and water supplies beneath the surface are drilled to help with the shortage. The only problem with drilling water from below the surface is if you are in a drought and the surface water never meets the demand you are going to deplete the underground water aquifers as well with no way to replenish them. In 2015 California Governor Jerry Brown announced new rules for mandatory water restrictions to help cope with the worst drought in California’s history. (Dimick. D 2015) Some other things that are being done to help combat the increasing water shortage by local irrigation districts are putting rules into effect on days that residents can water their lawns, and educate people on ways to conserve water around their residence. There are numerous ways that a lack of water can have an impact on your health. Not being able to clean things you use on a daily basis like dishes, keeping good personal hygiene, and being able to stay properly hydrated. It is good to see that local businesses are taking steps to help manage water and find new was to limit the amount of water they use.


Berg, N. (2011, September, 28) Why Does California’s Central Valley Have Such Bad Air Pollution? Retrieved from

Carlson, K. (2017, July, 24) Pollution from Geer Road dump threatens drinking water. County will try a pricey fix. Retrieved from

Dimick, D. (2015, April, 6) 5 Things You Should Know About Caliifornia’s Water Crisis. Retrieved from