Drinking WaterDrought

Summer of 2021, another dry-well-a-palooza

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Workers roll a 2,500-gallon water storage tank from Self-Help Enterprises into place on Linda Reese's property east of Clovis. Hundreds of domestic wells went dry this summer. COURTESY: Linda Reese

Phones were ringing practically non-stop at Self-Help Enterprises toward the end of this summer with valley residents all calling about the same problem: Their wells had gone dry.

Employees were fielding 100s of calls a month from people whose wells had dried up, Marliez Diaz wrote in an email. Diaz is a water sustainability manager for Self-Help a community organization based in Visalia that works on housing and water issues in the San Joaquin Valley.

The number of calls has slowed so far in October, but the organization is still getting six or seven calls a day.

“Climate change has resulted in higher temperatures which has resulted in less precipitation and snowpack,” wrote Diaz. “As temperatures increased, more water wells became low-producing or dry and we received more calls from residents that had lost access to water.”

What official records are kept confirm Self-Help’s experience, the drought was brutal on valley drinking water wells.

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Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern

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