Valley Drought 2014: War Over Water In A Porterville Neighborhood
PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KMPH) —
Valley Drought 2014 is creating a war over water in a Porterville neighborhood. It has to do with water being saved for some people and how that decision is leaving others with dry wells.
The issue is a dirt dam was built on the Tulle River and without that water people in East Porterville don't have water.
"I think that the people have lived here for so many years that the slough should be open at least a couple of weeks out of the summer, so it can replenish the water table," says Adam Castaneda, whose water well is dry.
To make sure his family has water, Adam Castaneda set up a tank that drains water to his well and then pumps it into his home. His family says it's a lot of work to get water.
"It's frustrating, especially when other people are out of water and we're trying to get water from other people," says Tanya Cannon, whose water well is dry.
According to the Tulle River Irrigation District, people in East Porterville aren't supposed to get the water behind the dam. The dam was built by the irrigation district and the general manager says the water is actually owned by growers downstream. The irrigation district's general manager also says the dam has been vandalized.
People who live in East Porterville say they don't care who owns the water, they want access to it, like they have in the past.
"I understand that they pay for that water, but it would be nice if the County would allow some to run through," says Castaneda.
KMPH Fox 26 News did speak with a grower who did not want to go on camera. He said that growers downstream have had water rights over the water behind the dam since the 1890's.