Drinking WaterDrought

Valley wells already going dry as drought settles in

 •  by Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern
Brian Jones of Jones Construction installs a water tank in the Tombstone community in Fresno County. Photo courtesy of Self-Help Enterprises.

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 to tell her there was no water pressure at the house. The family had relied on the same private well at its rural Tulare County home for more than 60 years with no issues.

Vasquez checked for broken lines or leaks and finally turned on the faucet at the side of the well’s tank. What should have been a rush of water came out as a mere trickle.

“I just started crying because I knew what that meant,” said Vasquez.

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Jesse Vad, SJV Water reporting intern

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