Regarding the editorial “State needs to step up response to water emergencies” (Aug. 2): California is in a fourth year of extreme drought, and a number of communities are running out of water, creating uncertainty for some of our most economically vulnerable Central Valley residents.
Since spring 2014, state agencies have worked with local governments to plan for water shortages, including providing communities with interim water supplies while a long-term solution is developed. The State Water Board’s Emergency Drinking Water program has provided $20 million in emergency funding to more than 70 communities for projects such as deepening wells, and connecting water systems to neighboring supplies.
Many rural residents rely on domestic wells, and during this drought more than 2,100 of those have run dry. To support these residents, the governor’s Office of Emergency Services has made available millions of dollars of funding through the California Disaster Assistance Act. This funding has enabled bottled water deliveries and large water tanks to be placed in residents’ yards, as is the case in the Porterville area.
We recognize the risk that water shortages impose on some California residents, and will continue to collaborate to create solutions that will last beyond the drought.
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Cindy Forbes, deputy director, Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento