After over three years since the first homes started running out of water, East Porterville residents are now being connected to the City of Porterville’s water system.
This project came together as a result of significant community organizing and engagement. For almost two years, the Community Water Center has been working alongside members of the East Porterville community to organize and advocate for immediate and lasting drinking water solutions.
By the end of 2017, as many as 1,800 homes with unreliable or unsafe water may be connected to the City of Porterville’s water system. Water started flowing to the first home in East Porterville this morning, bringing relief to the family of Guillermina Avila and Leonicio Ramirez, who had been forced to rely on bottled water and a water tank until now.
We are proud to stand alongside all of the partners who have helped bring this solution about, and we will continue working together to ensure that water decision-makers are responsive to community needs so that anyone and everyone who needs water gets water.
CWC’s outreach team is knocking on doors, making phone calls, developing sign-up guides, and holding community meetings to ensure every resident knows about the opportunity to connect to the City of Porterville’s water system. We’re pounding the pavement to make sure property owners in East Porterville know they should contact the City of Porterville or visit the C-SET Drought Resource Center to apply to be connected by completing a consent form.
We’re also working to address the root cause of the problem -- declining groundwater levels. This month, CWC and our partners are doing everything we can to ensure the Tulare County Board of Supervisors takes action to address our groundwater crisis. We’re calling on the Board of Supervisors to develop an emergency groundwater ordinance that places limits on increased groundwater extractions until Groundwater Sustainability Agencies are in place and ready to manage these shared resources. Though an emergency ordinance wouldn’t bring relief to East Porterville families whose wells have already run dry, it will help prevent more families from running out of water.
After going for months without even emergency relief, the East Porterville community came together to demand solutions. We worked with residents to get organized, advocate, and even travel to Sacramento to testify before the state legislature to demand a lasting solution. It is not acceptable for anyone to spend two years reliant on bottled water and tanks.
Through organizing and engagement, solutions are underway in East Porterville.