One home in wealthy Bel Air, California, used an astonishing 11.8 million gallons of water in one year. The customer, whose identity has not been revealed, is the biggest known residential water user in the drought-stricken state.
From the parched California coast to soaring water bills in New York, this episode of Reveal takes an in-depth look at water issues around the country.
At first, last December’s rains seemed like welcome relief for drought-stricken California. But while the moisture did little to hydrate trees and shrubs, it did lead to the widespread of growth of wild grasses, which dried out quickly and contributed to this year’s wildfire season.
In 2013, the discovery of dangerous bacteria in the drinking water of two working-class communities along the Rio Grande in Texas set off alarms among state regulators and investigators. Now it appears that efforts to hold anyone responsible are sputtering to an inconclusive end.
The county sheriff’s office in Santa Cruz, California, was the first law enforcement agency to test a new sensor that records when a deputy’s gun is fired. And now, the recently retired sheriff is a paid adviser for the company.
If California gets hit by a strong El Niño with heavy snow and rain, sinking levees in the Central Valley are more likely to fail and send floodwaters racing across farms, highways and neighborhoods.
There are at least 10,000 unidentified bodies in morgues and cemeteries across the country. Bodies may remain unidentified for far too long because agencies are not required to share case information about missing people and Jane and John Does.