Kern County farmers have been using oil wastewater for irrigation, but is it safe?

A California water board assures the public that oil wastewater is safe for irrigation, but experts say the evidence is scant.

Farmers in Kern County's Cawelo Water District have long struggled to irrigate crops with dwindling groundwater supplies and surface water allocations. For decades, the district has supplemented that water with oil field wastewater, known as "produced water."Says Lisa Gross of, she continues on to to say that studies in Kern County, performed by oil industry consultants, cannot answer fundamental safety questions about irrigating crops with “produced water,” the board’s own panel of experts concedes. Says Lisa Gross of

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