The drought in California has gotten so extreme that hundreds of residents in a rural part of the San Joaquin Valley can no longer get drinking water from their faucet. According to a report from the Associated Press, via Yahoo News, government officials and community groups are reporting that because of the drought, many residents’ individual wells have gone completely dry.
In East Porterville, California, the situation has become so dire that the Office of Emergency Services (OES) in Tulare County delivered bottled water to residents who couldn’t access any from their faucet, according to a report from the Porterville Recorder.
Of the 1,400 homes in the area, 182 reported having no or very little water in their wells because of the California drought, said OES manager Andrew Lockman. Each person per household received 12 gallons worth.
“We only have population data for 65 of them,” Lockman mentioned. “Of those there were 386 people [in the households].”
Lockman added that this distribution is being considered “an emergency plan” at the moment.
“Right now, we’re trying to provide immediate relief,” he said.
Residents’ wells are filled from the groundwater that streams through the Tule River. But because of the California drought, officials said, there hasn’t been much flow to the river, resulting in low or dry wells in East Porterville.
Rebecca Bates, who lives in the area, said that her well still has some water, but with there being no expected end for the California drought, she is “worried” that it will dry up soon.
“A neighbor 20 feet from us ran out,” she added.
Bates’ husband, Michael, noted the couple is doing their best to “conserve” during the drought in California.
“We don’t know how long it will last,” he added.
The lingering California drought has had some people mention that this is the worst they’ve ever seen, including Tulare County Supervisor Mike Ennis, who represents East Porterville.
“I grew up in the area,” Ennis told The Fresno Bee. “I’ve never seen this many people out of water.”
Although the California drought has affected many in the area, there were some who were offered assistance, even though their wells were still working. One of those residents, Jesus Alfaro, appreciated the offer and what the county was doing, but he declined receiving help from volunteers.
“I don’t think it’s fair to those who don’t have water,” Alfaro added.
Alfaro mentioned that he has a 120-foot well, and he has been helping “about 20 homes” in the area that have been affected by the California drought.
“I could not leave them without water,” he added. “They’re humans.”
The people who received water were on lists of households that reported their wells were dry because of the California drought. Lockman assured that this wasn’t going to be a one-time thing, and county officials have no intentions on making it “harder for anyone.”
“These lists aren’t going anywhere,” he said.
Lockman also mentioned that Child Welfare Services would not be removing children from households that have no water.
“We just want to help the people,” he said.
In a related report from The Inquisitr, a new study claims that 63 trillion gallons of water has disappeared and is actually causing the earth to “rise to higher levels.” Drought-stricken California was reported to be the “most severe” area.
“It’s predominantly in the Coast Ranges and the Sierras showing the most uplift, and hence, that’s where we believe is the largest water loss,” said researcher Duncan Agnew.
Do you live in California? How badly has the drought affected your area?
[Featured image credit: Chieko Hara/The Porterville Recorder/AP Photo via Bloomberg]
[Inline image credit: MyWaterCondition]