Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

CWC Launches Urgent Campaign to Protect Groundwater in Drought-Affected Tulare County

14414608692_6a58ae008e_z.jpgWith over 1,500 homes that have run completely out of water since 2014, Tulare County is at the epicenter of the drought. This month, CWC and are allies are doing everything we can to ensure the Tulare County Board of Supervisors takes action to address this crisis. We need your support to make sure the Board of Supervisors develops a strong emergency groundwater ordinance that limits increased groundwater extractions to protect our shared groundwater resources. The Board will vote on the issue this month, and we need to ensure they vote in favor of a strong ordinance to build community resiliency to droughts.

In the past two years, while thousands of domestic and agricultural wells have run dry, Tulare County has issued 5,495 new well drilling permits, allowing for rampant groundwater pumping with almost no oversight. As of this April, California has spent more than $148 million in state tax dollars for emergency drought relief in Tulare County alone, yet we are not any closer to addressing the root of the problem, declining groundwater levels. This race to the bottom with well drilling is unsustainable and irresponsible. Rather than allowing the situation to continue to deteriorate, taking us further and further away from state-mandated groundwater sustainability, it is time to be proactive. We must act now to build more sustainable and drought resilient communities for the future.

This month, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to protect the groundwater that every county resident relies on. We are calling on the Board of Supervisors to develop an emergency groundwater ordinance as soon as possible that will provide tangible relief to Tulare County families and landowners by limiting increased groundwater extractions until the new Groundwater Sustainability Agencies are in place and ready to actively manage these shared resources for the benefit of all residents.

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