Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy
Pages tagged "Tulare County"

Save our Groundwater: Contact Your Supervisor

Background: Since 2014, over 1,600 homes have run completely out of water, making Tulare County the epicenter of the drought. But while emergency relief continues, our county has yet to address the root cause of the problem -- declining groundwater levels. In the same time period more than 5,500 new wells have been permitted to be drilled in the county, increasing demand on an already diminishing resource. This race to the bottom with well drilling is unsustainable and irresponsible.  The Community Water Center and our allies have been 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 takes action and ultimately develops a strong emergency groundwater ordinance that places limits on increased groundwater extractions until new regulations are in place to manage these shared resources for the benefit of all residents.  

You can make a difference and help protect Tulare County families by contacting your County Supervisor today! 

Make a quick phone call: 

  1. Call the Tulare County Board of Supervisors office at (559) 636-5000.

  2. If someone answers, ask to leave a message for your supervisor (Worthley, Ishida, Ennis, Vander Poel or Cox). (Don’t know who your supervisor is? Find out here.)

  3. Leave a message (either with a county employee or on the County voicemail) with your name, address, and recommendation to the supervisor (that is, that you want them to vote to develop a strong emergency ordinance that limits increased groundwater extraction). Click here for an example of what to say when calling your Supervisor.

Prefer to send an email? Follow these steps:

  1. Find out your Supervisor here.

  2. Email your Supervisor!

 

Thank you for taking a few minutes to act on this important issue! After we apply pressure with phone calls and letters, we need to show up at the Board of Supervisors meeting to make sure they follow through. Sign up for our Groundwater Action Team so we can let you know if the Board of Supervisors will be voting on this issue!

Sign up for the Groundwater Action Team!

 

 


Groundwater Action Team

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Since 2014, over 1,600 homes have run completely out of water, making Tulare County the epicenter of the drought. But while emergency relief continues, our county has yet to address the root cause of the problem -- declining groundwater levels. In the same time period, more than 5,500 new wells were permitted to be drilled in the county, increasing demand on an already diminishing resource. This race to the bottom with well drilling is unsustainable and irresponsible, as highlighted in a story by The Sacramento Bee on the well-drilling crisis facing the county. The Community Water Center and our allies have been doing everything we can to ensure the Tulare County Board of Supervisors takes action to address this crisis.

We were told repeatedly that the Board would consider the three emergency ordinance recommendations before the end of August. That time has come and gone, and the Board has yet to put the item on their agenda. While the Board failed to act in August, Woodville's primary drinking water well collapsed, forcing them to issue boil water notices for three weeks, and more than 30 families ran out of water completely. These heart-wrenching situations are all due to rapidly declining groundwater levels. 

This is an emergency, and time is not on our side. More than a year of work has already gone into developing the recommendations that the Board is sitting on. We need them to act now to start the public conversation about this emergency groundwater ordinance.

You can help make sure the Board of Supervisors takes action to address our groundwater crisis. We're asking for the Board to put the emergency groundwater ordinance on their agenda and begin the public conversation that will allow all county stakeholders to weigh in on this important issue. We at the Community Water Center know we need a strong emergency groundwater ordinance that limits increased groundwater extractions until new regulations are in place to manage these shared resources for the benefit of all residents. But for now, we need the Board to even begin considering the issue. Read more!

The Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to protect the groundwater that every county resident relies on. Please sign up below to join our Groundwater Action Team! That way we can keep you in the loop with any developments, let you know if the Board of Supervisors actually puts this on their agenda, and other ways you can get involved to support sustainable groundwater in Tulare County!


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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Please sign up to join our Groundwater Action TeamThat way we can keep you in the loop and let you know about opportunities to take action on the issue. 


Residents in Tulare County community open taps to clean water

By Andrea Castillo

June 2, 2016

Original Story: www.fresnobee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article81205202.html

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Matheny Tract residents can finally open their taps to clean water.

Water in the low-income community south of Tulare has long been contaminated with arsenic, forcing residents to buy bottled water. In March, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Tulare to merge its water system with Matheny Tract under a new law.

At a ceremony Tuesday morning, Reinelda Palma and Tim Denney of the community action group Matheny Tract Committee turned the valve to let the municipal water begin flowing.

Tim Doyle, Tulare’s water utility manager, said the old system will be disconnected and abandoned within the next month. From now on, Matheny Tract residents will pay into the city’s tiered system. The average household pays around $30 a month, Doyle said.

Matheny Tract resident Javier Medina, 48, told The Bee in March that he paid $35 a month for the contaminated water that came out of his taps, plus around $45 for bottled water so his family of six could cook and drink.

$30average amount households pay for water in Tulare – and now Matheny Tract

Tulare had until Wednesday to consolidate the city system with Pratt Mutual Water Co., which served the community of about 300 homes and 1,200 people. Half the homes are rentals, most residents are Latino, and 30 percent earn less than the federal poverty line.

Advocates, including the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, called the consolidation a big win.

“We are thrilled that, due to years of hard work and advocacy by residents, Matheny Tract residents secured their human right to clean drinking water today,” said Ashley Werner, a lawyer with Leadership Counsel.

In 2014, a $4.9 million water main the state paid for using Proposition 84 funds was installed between Tulare and Matheny Tract. Before the pipe was laid, Tulare agreed to deliver clean water from city wells. But the city later balked over unexpected system capacity issues and concerns about service connections outside city limits.

It sued Pratt Mutual and the Matheny Tract Committee to change the terms of the agreement, and the Matheny Tract Committee, represented by the Leadership Counsel, and Pratt countersued. The cases were settled out of court.

Doyle said Tuesday was historic, given that it’s the first time any city in California has been ordered to provide safe drinking water to an area that doesn’t have it.

But he worries about maintaining the system that already serves 62,000 people.

“We’ll find out this week what an additional 331 addresses would do to our system, with it being 100 degrees,” he said. “Typically that’s when we see water use go up.”

Doyle said that if the drought continues, the city might have to replace older infrastructure and drill deeper. Though residents have been conserving water, he said water flows have continued to decrease.

Andrea Castillo: 559-441-6279@andreamcastillo

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