Earth Log

September 2, 2014

September song: Expect more dry wells in San Joaquin Valley

Earth Log

Mark Grossi's dispatches from the Valley battle with air quality and water use

Dry-well desperation in the San Joaquin Valley's rural communities is beginning to peak -- and East Porterville in Tulare County is the epicenter.

Bee reporter Lewis Griswold broke the story in August  about nearly 1,000 people in East Porterville who are without water. Wells for the 290 homes have gone dry.

Other media have been following The Bee's lead. Make no mistake, there will be more stories about people living without wells as this miserably dry year moves into autumn.

An online effort is aimed at raising $10,000 for drinking water. It had raised $490 early this week.

Tulare County folks are numbed by the news of this community going dry.

"I grew up here, I've never seen this many people out of water," said Supervisor Mike Ennis, who was quoted in Griswold's story.

I have heard from about a dozen people who have no water in their rural homes now. One woman told me that people don’t really understand how tough it is to lose the source of drinking water for your home.

“Try going a week without water at your house,” she said. “You’ll understand.”

By the end of this month, I think more people will understand.

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About Mark Grossi


Mark Grossi has the pulse of the San Joaquin Valley ecosystem, writing since 1993 about subjects such as the region's notorious air quality, the restoration of the San Joaquin River and unhealthy drinking water in rural towns. Twitter: @markgrossi Email Mark at or call him at 559-441-6316.

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