Calif.’s dry East Porterville to be connected to Porterville’s water system

Calif.’s dry East Porterville to be connected to Porterville’s water system

Drought-hit California will spend $10 million to connect unincorporated East Porterville in Tulare County to neighboring Porterville’s water system, officials announced on Wednesday.

The years-long drought left families in a poor farming community of East Porterville to struggle with dried up wells, and forced many to move to other locations. But, the ongoing planning will provide area residents with clean drinking water again flowing into their homes.

The plan proposes to have up to five hundred homes connected to neighboring Porterville’s water system by a water line by the end of 2016. Hundreds of households with shallow or contaminated water wells would likely be connected by the end of next year.

The California Office of Emergency Services’ Eric Lamoureux said, “I’m confident we're going to begin seeing in the very near future some connections and solutions to these residents who have suffered far too great for far too long.”

Tomas Garcia, a 51-year-old resident, said that he had hopes to return to his neighborhood. He, along with other members of his family, had migrated around two years ago, after their domestic well ran dry.

Each connection will cost up to $4,000, but households will not have to pay as the cost will be covered by the state. Only disadvantaged residents of East Porterville, a largely Latino community of around 7,000 people between Fresno and Bakersfield, are eligible.