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, government officials and community groups said.
The situation has become so dire that the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services had 12-gallon-per person rations of bottled water delivered on Friday in East Porterville, where at least 182 of the 1,400 households have reported having no or not enough water, according to the Porterville Recorder ().
Many people in the unincorporated community about 52 miles north of Bakersfield also have been relying on a county-supplied 5,000-gallon water tank filled with non-potable water for bathing and flushing toilets, The Recorder said.
Emergency services manager Andrew Lockman, said the supplies of bottled water distributed by firefighters, the Red Cross and volunteer groups on Friday cost the county $30,000 and were designed to last about three weeks but are only a temporary fix. To get future deliveries, officials are asking low-income residents to apply for aid and for companies to make bottled water donations like the one a local casino made a few weeks ago.