Relief Begins to Flow at Epicenter of California Drought

It can easily be said that the area hardest hit by the drought is the Tulare County community of East Porterville. The severe California drought left many homes without water and relying on emergency water deliveries for the last few years. That will soon change for many in this drought-stricken community.

Today was an especially important day for the Ramirez family as running water flowed in their East Porterville home for the first time in years. They are the first of many East Porterville families connecting to a new, sustainable and permanent water source, and ending their need for emergency water.

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This new source of water is known as the East Porterville Water Project and is a joint effort by Cal OES, the California Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board. Also involved in the project were non-profits Community Services Employment Training, Community Water Center and Self-Help Enterprises.

Under the project, as many as 1,800 homes will be connected to the new water system by the end of 2017. The homes will receive water from City of Porterville distribution lines.

California is in its fifth year of drought and Cal OES continues to work with state and local partners on the effects of the drought. Californians are reminded that we are still in a drought and conservation is a new way of life. To learn more about water conservation, visit

For mor information about:

  • Cal OES, visit
  • California Department of Water Resources, visit
  • State Water Resources Control Board, visit

Monica Vargas

Monica is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident and 2017 winter storms. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in international affairs, technology operations and executive staff support.

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