News Feature | September 16, 2014

Many Rural Californians Are Already Out Of Water

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

In rural California, water shortages are not a what-if. They are already a fact of life for many families.  

"Hundreds of rural San Joaquin Valley residents no longer can get drinking water from their home faucets because California's extreme drought has dried up their individual wells," the Associated Press reported, citing government officials and community groups. 

In August, Tulare County officials passed out bottled water to families in need. The assistance came straight to people's homes. 

"Nearly 1,000 people whose wells have gone dry due to drought received an emergency allotment of bottled water. The door-to-door giveaway of 12 gallons of water per person was the latest development in a summer of water woes in the central San Joaquin Valley," the Fresno Bee reported

East Porterville is one city in Tulare County where water shortages are a reality. During the water drive, "the streets of East Porterville were busy as trucks, cars, flatbeds and Red Cross disaster relief trucks traversed the area delivering bottled drinking water to residents of East Porterville without water. Plenty of activity was going on at the Doyle Colony Fire Station which was set up as a command and organizing center for the deliveries," the Porterville Record reported

Out of about 1,400 homes in the area, 182 homes reported having no water or other water problems, the piece said. And for those residents who still have water, the supply is rapidly dwindling. Resident Jesus Alfaro said in the report that he has a 120-foot well, but his pump is set down at 40 feet. 

Also in late August, San Jose declared a water shortage. 

The city council "moved to work with regional water officials to explore a new recycled water facility," the San Jose Mercury News reported

Check out Water Online's Water Scarcity Solution Center

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