Dry taps are spreading in East Porterville, say volunteers who are delivering water to hundreds of homes, but donations of water continue to help.
Nearly 1,000 people in East Porterville were coping with dry taps in August. Adam Bohman of the nonprofit Porterville Rescue Mission said the number has no doubt climbed as more wells have gone dry. Volunteers say the number of people affected may have doubled by the end of the dry summer.
East Porterville is a town of about 1,500 homes and several thousand people near the Tule River. It is outside the city of Porterville and under the jurisdiction of Tulare County.
The Associated Press reported that it would cost more than $20 million and take up to five years to connect East Porterville with the nearby city of Porterville. Such water projects have run into political and technical snags in the past, so it might take longer.
Some East Porterville residents have been living without tap water for many months, volunteers say. Bohman said said plans are under way to go door-to-door in East Porterville neighborhoods to make sure people have water.
“Many in this Hispanic community do not know where to turn to for help,” he said.
Water donation are being accepted anytime at the Rescue Mission, 30 S. Olive St., Porterville. The Lunch Box Diner, 22388 Avenue 152, also is helping in the campaign, accepting donations at the diner.
The volunteers are hoping to get more water donations over the weekend. To join the effort, call Rescue Mission at (559) 782-6379.