Water Quality in the State of California

California's water is controlled by the state government. Most of the supplied water for Southern California and the Central Valley (home to half of the state's population), depends on three major projects; State Water Project, the Colorado River Aqueduct (imported water from out of state) and the Central Valley Project. California's vast agricultural industry is also dependent on these water projects, both large and small.


Groundwater is also an important part of the state’s water supplies, comprising about 40% of the water used in an average year, and 60% or more in a drought year. But groundwater is very much location-dependent: some communities have no groundwater and rely on surface water while other communities may have only groundwater. Other communities depend on a mix of imported water and groundwater, and even some rely solely on imported water. 


California Water Hardness by City

California water is considered hard to very hard. The average water hardness for California residents is 100-300 PPM. The state's most populous city and the second-most populous city in the US, Los Angeles, has a water hardness average of 186 PPM and San Francisco has a hard water level of 176 PPM.  At 222 PPM, San Jose water is considered very hard based on the USGS Measures of Water Hardness.


For more information on water hardness in specific cities, please see the table below.


City Water Hardness Data
Anaheim 126 PPM (mg/L) or 7 gpg
Bakersfield 130 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Chula Vista 187 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Corona 205 PPM (mg/L) or 12 gpg
Coachella 304 PPM (mg/L) or 18 gpg
Fontana 175 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Fremont 135 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Fullerton 165 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Garden Grove 196 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Glendale 206 PPM (mg/L) or 12 gpg
Huntington Beach 178 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Irving 152 PPM (mg/L) or 9 gpg
Long Beach 224 PPM (mg/L) or 13 gpg
Los Angeles 186 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Modesto 175 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Oceanside 168 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Orange 192 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Oxnard 167 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Pasadena 111 PPM (mg/L) or 6 gpg
Redding 186 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Sacramento 157 PPM (mg/L) or 9 gpg
Salinas 185 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
San Diego 285 PPM (mg/L) or 17 gpg
San Francisco 176 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
San Jose 222 PPM (mg/L) or 13 gpg
Santa Barbara 550 PPM (mg/L) or 32 gpg
Santa Maria 72 PPM (mg/L) or 4 gpg
Stockton 194 PPM (mg/L) or 11 gpg
Sunnyvale 300 PPM (mg/L) or 17 gpg


PPM = Parts Per Million

mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter

gpg = Grains Per Gallon


Agriculture and Water Hardness

California has the largest economy in the United States, and as a sovereign State, California would rank as the world’s 5th largest economy. In 2018, California brought in $3 trillion in Gross State Product. Top industries include Business services, Government, Finance, Manufacturing, Media and Agriculture. California is the nation’s top agriculture producing state. Not only does California supply the majority of United States agricultural products, but it is also a top contender for international agriculture exports as well. Top California crops are dairy ($6.6 billion annual), grapes ($5.8 billion annual) and almonds ($5.6 billion annual).


As the majority of California has water rich in calcium (the primary source of water hardness), many farms and food processing plants experience issues related to scale buildup in their irrigators, production, and mechanical equipment, due to the mass quantities of water flow every day. In addition, contaminants polluting soil and waterways have increased greatly over the past few decades and there is a greater need for waste and chemical control. Many farmers are looking for eco-friendly solutions that can increase the quality and yield of their crops while saving water. Read more about how HydroFLOW can increase crop yield.




Solutions to your Water Quality Problems

Fixing your water quality issues in the state of California will depend on your specific water source. It is best to test your potable water supply in order to get a better understanding of your water quality. Testing is relatively cheap. The test results will allow you to understand if your potable water has issues that need to be addressed. Common solutions to water contamination problems may include a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis system or other whole home water treatment solutions.


A problem that almost all California residents will have to deal with is hard water. One old-fashioned, inefficient, expensive and unhealthy method to treat hard water is with a salt-based water softener. Most people don’t realize that if you’re using a water softener you are basically removing calcium and magnesium from your drinking water and adding salt to your diet. In addition, many states are banning the use of salt-based water softeners


Alternative water treatment solutions such as “water conditioners” have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are cheap to operate and the best eco-friendly solution for hard water. Hydropath technology, which powers the HydroFLOW water conditioners is by far the most efficient and cost-effective eco-friendly solution to deal with hard water problems. To learn more about how HydroFLOW solves the problems created by hard water, please check out our technology page. You might want to read this blog that explains the difference between water conditioners and water softeners: Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener Blog.


For more information, please contact HydroFLOW West