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State still hasn’t fixed Porterville drinking water crisis from the last drought. Will residents go dry again?

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern

The epicenter of dry wells during California’s last devastating drought was undoubtedly Porterville. The small Tulare County town saw wells go dry enmasse in its unincorporated east side. It became a national headline as the media descended. Amid the glare of tv cameras, the state pledged to help and agreed to build three new wells….

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Drinking WaterDrought

Valley wells already going dry as drought settles in

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern

Dry wells are starting to crop up throughout California’s San Joaquin Valley as the 2021 drought digs in. And as the parched state barrels toward summer, the risk of more wells going dry is increasing. For some, that possibility is already a scary reality. Misty Vasquez was at work in December, when her husband called…

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Drinking WaterRivers

Innovative partnerships and exchanges are securing the Gila River Indian Community’s water future

 •  by Sharon Udasin

Editor’s note: This story is part of a collaboration — Tapped Out: Power, justice and water in the West — that includes the Institute for Nonprofit News, California Health Report, Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, Circle of Blue, Columbia Insight, Ensia, High Country News, New Mexico In Depth and SJV Water. It was made possible by a…

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Drinking Water

Fail: Tule Basin drinking water plan kicked back for a redo

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern

When Sandra Chavez’ mother discovered she had stage four cancer last year, one of Sandra’s first thoughts was about their water. Her family’s private well is contaminated with nitrates and Chavez wondered if years of drinking the water could have caused her mother’s sickness. Chavez and her family have relied on bottled water since they…

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Drinking Water

Public slow to respond to new drinking water program for rural San Joaquin Valley residents

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting trainee

The state is finally beginning to address a decades-long problem of dangerous drinking water in parts of the San Joaquin Valley under a new “management zone” program but hardly anyone is paying attention. Even the prospect of free water testing and free water hasn’t garnered much enthusiasm. Regardless of the lackluster response, program managers will…

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