Clean Water Act Goals for 2050

The Clean Water Act’s goal was to clean all surface waters to be drinkable, fishable and swimmable by 2050 and while this act began nearly 50 years ago, 95% of the water bodies in the State of California have yet to meet those requirements. The Clean Water Act was seen by many as impractical and the State Water Resources Control Board have decided to reexamine their goals to be more achievable. The original goal was to clean all freshwater systems by 2050, however revision have been made to focus on compliance to impaired surface waters. Based on the federal Clean Water Act, many regions would not make their end goal of cleaning freshwater systems until after 2050.

The new requirements would require greater monitoring of water in irrigated agricultural land which is an expensive endeavor and has raised funding concerns across the state. It is estimated that the requirements to reach the 2050 goal could cost up to $100 billion but not having these plans and monitoring in place we could face into problems of E. coli, heavy metals, loss of wildlife and climate change.

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