We’ve all seen the unsettling photos of reservoirs in California running dry as a result of this severe drought, but the idea that some California towns would actually run out of water- turn on the tap to find zero H2O- has remained seemingly distant.
Sadly, such is not the case for East Porterville residents in Tulare County who are currently living through a negative-utopian nightmare. They’ve had no running water for weeks after their wells went completely dry!
With a population of 7,300 and at least 300 households affected, the situation is dire and has us worried. According to Porterville resident, Elizabeth Baker, families can’t shower, are wearing dirty clothes, and are knocking on the doors of local fire departments for drinking water. The only solace in all of this- the county did fund a 5,000-gallon water tank to assist with flushing toilets and irrigation. Still, the issue of a lack of drinking water remains at the forefront.
Having declared a state of emergency, Tulare County is currently receiving funding for water deliveries but other more sustainable projects like expanding a utility network are costly and take time. As of now, the county is delivering water via water trucks once or twice a week to local households and many nonprofits have donated plastic water bottles to families in need.
With no foreseeable light at the end of the tunnel, there is current talk amongst locals that the situation may be even worse than many initially imagined. Fearing eviction, numerous residents aren’t even reporting the fact that their wells are dry which may be lessening the severity of current, local water shortage calculations. Yikes!
“You know, you take for granted what you have. When you have running water inside, you never believe you’re going to be living out of a water tank. Forget about the lawn, forget about the car, you don’t realize how much you need water until this happens,” East Porterville resident, Mari Mejia, passionately exclaims.
We are keeping Porterville’s residents in our thoughts and crossing our fingers for substantial rainfall!
What’s your take on Porterville’s current water crisis? What do you think other California communities should be doing to prepare for similar scenarios in the future if this drought persists? What do you think the best, long term solution for a dryer west entails? Join the conversation! We appreciate your feedback.